Quotation Marks: a Unique Guide of Its Use in Writing

When writing, you have to be watchful of the punctuation marks you used to convey a clear message. One type of punctuation that can help you write effectively are quotation marks.

What Are Quotation Marks?

A quotation is a short passage that is taken from someone else’s writing, spoken words, or a sound recording. Most often, a quote is transcribed or printed in another form, such as a font, so it may be read or discussed.

A quotation mark can serve various purposes. These include:

A Quotation Mark Can Express a Point

When trying to convey a point, necessary to be emphasized, you can use a quotation mark.

You must try “going to church” or you’ll burn to hell.

It’s used to either incorporate a good or bad point with the intensity of the sentences you’re writing.

A Quotation Mark Can Introduce an Idea

Should you decide to add introductory remarks to the new idea of your sentence, you can also use a quotation mark.

Then, he introduced the debut party’s “Grand Ceremony”.

It’s done to put emphasis, not only to the new idea, but also to anything that deserves introduction.

A Quotation Mark Can Be Used for Direct Quotation

The simplest use of this punctuation is to cite a direct quotation.

“Coronavirus-2019 Disease is now considered a global pandemic”, the World Health Organization stated during their press conference.

It’s also done in research papers, especially to prevent any form of plagiarism. An in-text citation corresponds it.

How to Quote a Part of a Sentence

Given the concepts stated beforehand, you should also learn how to quote a part of a sentence properly.

In this section of the article, you will find out how to properly use a quotation mark in a sentence or phrase.

For Quoted References

Should you require a reference from an outside source be incorporated in your page, you may use a quotation. Enclose the phrase or sentence with a double quotation mark followed or preceded by a comma (or both).

The Allies issued a statement about Auschwitz-Birkenau, saying, “It’s with horrible sadness we condole with the bereaved”, as mentioned in the manifesto.

In terms of researching and incorporating a quote, make sure to follow English guidelines that may protect your from plagiarism. When you quote, ensure that you include the main author’s name with the year of publication. Refer to APA Style guidelines to learn more.

For Emphasis

If you wish to emphasize something and use a quote mark, just simply follow the examples below.

You don’t need to “mesmerize” the people around you.

The “word” of another, should be the “word” of oneself.

Both British and American English allows the usage of quote marks for the purpose of emphasis.

Some further examples include:

I like the “following” you’re trying to convince me to join.

There’s no use for “preaching” if you don’t do the “act”.

These styles of writing are where quote marks usually gets handy. You just have to follow the rules set by linguistic standards to ensure that you’re quoting the “right way”.

There’s no need for a comma in doing these quoted sentences. However, should it be necessary, you must use a comma.

I don’t know what you’re talking about, such as me, “procrastinating” around.

For Relayed Questions

If you need to relay a question from another person to another, you can also use a quotation. This can also be done for a report through a letter or just simply something being asked.

Jesse asked me, “which proper spelling should I use? Parenthesis or parentheses?”. I laughed so hard when I answered, “try to consult a dictionary!”.

Notice the usage of comma before the quotation. Also, if you can see at the closing part of the sentence, there’s a period. No matter if you’re using American or British standards, this is the right way to quote.

Include Other Punctuations

Should the quoted phrase or sentence have other punctuations, contain them within the text enclosed and use quotation marks.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an exclamation or question mark, whatever that is, you can put it. Whether it’s a note or a long message, these marks should be incorporated within the quote.

Then he screamed, “What a disgraceful life!”, while the neighbor replied, “What are you talking about?”.

Just keep in mind the rule set for putting commas outside the quotation phrase. You must remember this style of writing to prevent further errors.

Do Not Use a Comma If It’s Unnecessary

If the statement is a quotation of another quotation, you can use a single quotation followed by a double quotation.

I remember her telling me that “My father, who doesn’t like me, told me during my breakdown ‘The world doesn’t revolve around you!'”.

Notice the exclamation mark being incorporated inside the single quotation.

The line in the example above is one of the instances you should use a single quote within a double quote. You should begin the phrase or sentence with the double quotation. Then, it should be followed by the single one if the quote of the person being quoted begins.

When Quoting Books and Book Titles

Instead of writing the book’s title without getting quoted, you may switch your typographical emphasis to italic. Then, you may add the italicized title within the quotation mark.


Yesterday, I saw him reading the legendary book “Macbeth”.

Notice that the title Macbeth was in italic typographical emphasis.


Come here to my house, so we can work on reading “Romeo & Juliet” in another place than yours.

Word for word, you must discern when it’s right to use quotation marks in your text.

Other Quotation Styles to Keep in Mind

If a quotation you’re trying to write is something worth emphasizing, you may put a colon before it in place of a comma. Change the preceding punctuation into a colon instead.

Let everyone ponder tomorrow’s main event: “The Ultimate Show of the Year”.

Again, if the quotation has a quotation inside, use a single quotation mark.

He told me,”The auditor informed me to ‘set off’ my debts by ‘working harder'”.

The judge informed the jury.” As for this case, almost ‘different than any case handled by the court’ according to the Chief Justice; it has to end.

To Wrap Up

Word per word, you should master how to put a quotation mark. Whether it’s a phrase or just a word, you should understand how to properly quote. Take this article as your guide in your further writing journey.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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