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Quotation Marks

Use single quotation marks for quotations printed within other quotations:

  • "When I was a student," she reminisced, "someone said to me, ‘Be sure to enjoy this time of your life.'"

Use single quotation marks in headlines:

  • Team Finds ‘Hawk' Heaven

Periods and commas should be set inside quotation marks; colons and semicolons should be set outside. Exclamation points and question marks that are not part of a quotation also go outside.

  • The instructor said, "Good morning, everyone," but the fire alarm went off before he could say another word.
  • The coach said to "print Sports Center hours at the bottom of the brochure"; I don't know what they are, though.
  • Didn't you hear her say, "Reading assignments are due every Friday"?

Indicate an omission within a quotation by using an ellipsis (three periods evenly spaced between words):

  • "I...tried to do what was best."

If the omission occurs at the end of a complete sentence, add a period at the end of the ellipsis, followed by a space:

  • "At the University we are committed to a liberal arts education.... We develop our degree programs with this in mind."

Titles of songs, articles, book chapters, poems, photographs, lectures, individual titles from a series, unpublished works, etc., should be set in quotation marks:

  • "Drops of Jupiter," sung by Train
  • Stieglitz's "The Steerage," 1907 (photogravure on vellum)
  • "Video Provocateur" from the Distinguished Teaching Humanist Series

Italicize titles of books, films, magazines, newspapers, journals, television and radio programs, major musical compositions, plays, gallery exhibitions, and works of art:

  • Blackboard Jungle
  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • American Idol
  • Madama Butterfly
  • Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist's Mother

Refer to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for more information.