Quotation Rules

A quotation is a repetition of someone else’s words that is punctuated with quotation marks. It is a significant attention-grabber. Quotations create a durable effect on the readers and induce them to read further. Also, they help to convince readers and make them believe in the truth of a particular theory. However, it is important to remember that a text shouldn’t be overfilled with quotations.

How to Implement Quotations into Text?

First of all, you should select the quotations that you want to use in your paper. Then you should take into consideration how to implement them into the text. To manage this task successfully, follow these guidelines:

  1. Provide a context for each quotation.

    Write briefly about when and where the quotation was written or spoken.

  2. Define the author of the quotation.

    Tell your reader precisely who is speaking. There are many ways to attribute quotes to their authors. For example, you can use the list of these verbs: add, announce, argue, declare, estimate, exclaim, note, predict, proclaim, propose, remark, reply, respond, say, state, suggest, think, etc. For instance:

    Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

  3. Explain the importance of the quotation usage.

    Define the message that you want to deliver to your readers with the quotation. Why does it hold significance for your text?

  4. Provide a citation for the quotation.

    Quotations are divided into two basic categories: direct quotes and paraphrases, or indirect quotes. Each one of them requires a formal citation. There are some rules that will help you cite the quotations correctly. Let’s define them for each of the groups.

A Direct Quotation

It is using an author’s language word-for-word. A direct quotation begins with a capital letter. The only exception is when it is an interrupted thought or a sentence fragment. In order to avoid plagiarism using direct quotations, you should:

  • Use quotation marks around the author’s words.
  • Use an identifying phrase that tells who and what you are quoting.
  • Add a parenthetical reference at the end of the passage.
  • Include a citation at the end of your paper.

Pay attention that you shouldn’t put any space between the quotation marks and the words they surround.

How to Use Quotation Marks?

  1. Quotation marks are used to represent the exact words of a speaker or to demonstrate material quoted from writing:

    After the murder of the old king in Shakespeare’s MACBETH, Lady Macbeth imagines there is blood on her hand and cries, “Out, damned spot!”

  2. Periods and commas are constantly placed inside the closing quotation marks:

    Winston Churchill said, “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.”

  3. Exclamation points and question marks are placed inside the closing quotation marks when only the quoted material is either an exclamation or a question:

    He asked, “Where are they now?” She shouted. “The dam broke!”

  4. Exclamation points and question marks are placed outside the closing quotation marks when the whole sentence forms an exclamation or a question:

    Who said, “To err is human”? I have told you for the last time to stop calling me your “little sweetie”!

  5. Parenthetical reference or a footnote/endnote number is used after the closed quotation mark. For example:

    Lincoln declared, “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

  6. Quotation marks are used for each new cue in a dialogue:

    “Mr. President, you have a reputation as a quiet man,” said Coolidge’s dinner companion. “I have wagered a dollar that I can get you to say more than three words.”

    “You lose, madam,” replied the President.

  7. For inner quoted words within larger quotations, single quotation marks are used:

    He said, “People who say ‘Let me be honest with you’ seldom are.”

  8. Quotation marks enclose titles of works that are not published separately: poems, stories, articles, chapters in a book.

  9. Quotation marks are not used for the title of your own paper on that paper or on its title page.

  10. Both opening and closing quotation marks are put above the text.

Special Usage of Quotation Marks

  1. Use quotation marks with foreign words and expressions:

    Maria felt “simpatico” toward the rebel forces.

  2. Use quotation marks with technical terms that are supposed to be unfamiliar to most readers:

    The browser will accept a “cookie” and open a new window.

  3. Use quotation marks for emphasis when it is hard to distinguish two words:

    I have a problem with the understanding of the words “accept” and “except.”

    Take into consideration that italics may also be used instead of quotation marks in these three situations.


It is putting an author’s thought in your own words. It is significant to keep the essence and to present it in a new way. When you paraphrase, don’t use any quotation marks. An indicator that you are writing an indirect quotation is usage of the word that. For instance:

Mr. Coolidge’s dinner companion stated that the President was a quiet man.

We hope that these rules will help you to avoid mistakes in the citation of quotations. Please, remember that it is important to use quotations in a paper, but don’t use too many of them.