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IU Editorial Style Guide, Letter Q

quotation marks

In regular text, commas and periods always go inside an end quotation mark (”).

“If it doesn’t matter,” said the sage, “it does not matter.”

Most other punctuation marks, however, go outside the end quotation mark unless they are a part of the material being quoted.

The program will begin with “Feelings”; then we will sing “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?”; after that—don’t we finish with “The Tide Is High”?

Quoted material that runs four lines or longer is usually set as an indented extract (block quotation). Quotation marks are not used with indented extracts unless they occur within the quoted material.

In a publication created by the Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching, which she founded, Eileen Bender tells her colleagues, “The secret of good teaching is not to ‘tell,’ but to engage the audience in the process.” Bender has devoted her career to engaging the IU community in the processes of enlightenment, commitment, and action.

When quoting an excerpt that continues for several paragraphs, either indent them all or put a quotation mark at the beginning of each of the quoted paragraphs as well as a quotation mark at the end of the last quoted paragraph.

You can use either quotation marks or italics to set off a word you are discussing or explaining.

No one is certain about the origin of the word “Hoosier.”
No one is certain about the origin of the word Hoosier.

But avoid setting off an informal expression that the reader will already know; either use it without quotes or find a synonym.

The dean’s get-together should be fun.
not: The dean’s “get-together” should be “awesome.”

Use “curly” quotation marks (also known as smart quotes) in your publications in most cases. The “straight” quotation mark ("), also called the double prime, is used for denoting inches.

See also titles of works.