Conventions of Composition Rule 75
Rules Governing Punctuation with Quotations:
Place periods and commas before uncited quotation marks.
Place semicolons and colons before opening quotation marks and after closing quotation marks.
Place exclamation and question marks before closing quotation marks if the quoted material needs an exclamation or question mark.
Full-sentence quotations begin with capital letters.
Indirect speech doesn't use quotation marks.
In conversation, each speech, together with its governing expression, should stand in a separate paragraph by itself. Each time the speaker changes, in dialogue, you must begin a new paragraph.
If you need to change a quotation so that it makes sense with surrounding text, enclose added words in square brackets. You may omit words in the exact location of the square-bracketted words. If you need to omit other words, insert ellipses. You do not need to insert ellipses at the beginning or end of a quotation.
To quote a passage with some dialogue and some narration, use single quotes for the quoted dialogue and double quotes for the full passage under review.
Use a comma to separate a speech attribution or tag from its associated dialogue. Use a period to separate an action attribution or tag from its associated dialogue.
There should not be spaces both before and after quotation marks; they should go right next to the text.
Rules for Citations:
Parenthetical citations follow closing quotation marks and are followed by a comma or period OR can come at the end of the sentence, before the period.
You MUST cite any quotation that comes from a book, website, article, etc. That is, if the words didn't originate in your brain, you should say where you found them. To cite a play, use (Act. Scene. Lines.) unless the play gives no line numbers. In that case, cite the page number.
When an entire essay cites only one source, only the page number appears in the parenthetical citation.
If your quotation comes in the middle of your sentence, you may put the parenthetical citation directly after the quotation or at the end of the sentence.
Correct: "Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone"(9).
Correct: Bernard merely mumbled, “Oh Ford!” and kept walking (29).
Correct: The characters like to sing, “Skies are blue inside of you”(76), to their decanting bottles.
Correct: The characters know that they are “physico-chemically equal” in the eyes of the government (74).
Correct: Tituba says, "Oh, how many times he bid me kill you, Mr. Parris!"(44).
Correct: My friend answered, “My name is John Doe.”
Correct: "Don't go to the store, "John said.
Correct: "Don't go to the store." John bolted the door in front of me.
Practice putting quotation marks necessary. You might have to change punctuation and/or capitalization:
Wes Moore says our destinies can be determined by a single stumble down the wrong path, or a tentative step down the right one. (xiv)
Lorene Cary writes, The next fall a boy told me: I had been thinking of it as their school. It was like I had forgotten that this is my life. (5)
When you go to the market my mom asked can you pick up some nectarines?
Resources for further explanation on how to punctuate with quotations:
The Punctuation Guide's Quotation Marks (notice that this site has several links)
Grammar Book's Quotation Marks
IVCC English 1001's Integrating Quotations into Sentence