Posted by: episystechpubs | April 30, 2014

Editor’s Corner: More on quotation marks

Today I’m continuing with a few more rules and examples of how and when to use quotation marks. Here are direct quotation rules four through six, from the Purdue OWL:

4) If a direct quotation is interrupted mid-sentence, do not capitalize the second part of the quotation.

"I didn’t see an actual alien being," Mr. Johnson said, "but I sure wish I had."

5) In the examples above, note how the period or comma punctuation always comes before the final quotation mark. It is important to realize also that when you are using MLA or some other form of documentation, this punctuation rule may change.

When quoting text with a spelling or grammar error, you should transcribe the error exactly in your own text. However, also insert the term sic in italics directly after the mistake, and enclose it in brackets. Sic is from the Latin, and translates to "thus," "so," or "just as that." The word tells the reader that your quote is an exact reproduction of what you found, and the error is not your own.

Mr. Johnson says of the experience, "It’s made me reconsider the existence of extraterrestrials [sic]."

6) Quotations are most effective if you use them sparingly and keep them relatively short. Too many quotations in a research paper will get you accused of not producing original thought or material (they may also bore a reader who wants to know primarily what YOU have to say on the subject).

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory


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