English 10: Literary Journeys

Punctuating Embedded Quotes Correctly!


Grammar Mini-Lesson: How to punctuate embedded quotes correctly

Today in class we explored ways to use embedded quotes in writing. You will be asked to do this many times in various essays in your academic career. No matter what subject matter you study now and in college, if you need to quote something, you need to know how to punctuate it correctly. There are various styles out there that have different methods to arrange this punctuation. We are using the MLA style guide to inform our study.

So, some examples we talked about today:

“Quote here. What a great quote. Otters are cute” (Yoon, 345).

“Quote here. What a great quote. Are otters cute?” (345).

What does she mean when she says, “Quote here. What a great quote. Otters are cute” (345)?

“Quote here. What a great quote. Otters are cute” (345); an obvious choice if there is one.

“Quote here. What a great quote. Otters are cute!” (345).

I love it when she said, “Quote here. What a great quote. Otters are cute” (345)!

The above examples use various punctuation at the end of the embedded quote.

  • When using an exclamation point or question mark, if the punctuation is part of the quote you are using it goes INSIDE the quote.
  • Otherwise all other punctuation (periods, semi-colons, colons, or dashes) goes AFTER the page number.
  • At the first use of a quote from a book, put the author’s name before the page number. Any time afterwards, just put the page number.

I will be looking to see that you follow these rules in your Harkness notes and in your final essay. So, proofread those lovelies! And always ask someone to take a double peek.

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This article was written on 19 Feb 2013, and is filled under Grammar Tips, Homework Assignments, In Class.

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