Using this system saves me time when grading your papers and gives me the opportunity to write substantive comments on the content of your argument. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask me. If I have used an abbreviation not found on this page, I will add it if I think it is common enough. Your other professors may use similar proofreading marks when grading papers, though there are different systems for naming and abbreviating, so don't be surprised if you see some variations.
By practicing the above rules for using italics and quotation marks you will find that it will become easier to determine what you should use. If you are uncertain about what to use, ask yourself if the title of a work appears inside a larger body of work or if it can stand alone. If the title belongs inside a larger body of work, use quotation marks. If the title is for a body of work that stands alone, it should be in italics. And remember that consistency is key, whichever style you choose.
Ever seen someone use air quotes? People make air quotes when they want to express irony, as in "I just 'love' waking up at 6:00 am to catch a plane." Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies uses air quotes, but incorrectly, around familiar terms like "laser," and so does Joey in a classic episode of Friends (). Using quotes to express irony is tricky. Often it is better to rely on the logic of the sentence to indicate the irony; quotes can be construed as a sign of the author's laziness or inability to indicate irony in language. Neither of the sentences below needs quotation marks to make the irony clear because the logic reveals the irony.
Quotation marks are used to set off the titles of short works; italics (or an underline, when italics are not available) are used to identify longer works. A short work is a work within a work, such as an episode of a TV series, a chapter in a book, an article in a magazine, or a song or poem. Longer works include books, full-length plays, full-length records (or cds), TV series, films, magazines and newspapers. Works of art are also italicized.
When quoting text that itself includes a quote, use single quotation marks to enclose the internal quote and distinguish it from the primary quote.
Quotation marks are important in an essay which uses sources as evidence. Writers use quotation marks to signal the reader that the text within opeining and closing quotes is not the writer's original material. In an indirect quotation, when the writer paraphrases another person's words, quotation marks are not used, though it is important to provide a citation letting the reader know the source of the information.
uotation marks are probably the most incorrectly used element of punctuation; students are often confused about when to use single or a double quote, how to use quotation marks to express irony, whether or not it is Ok to use quotes to identify a new term, and how to use quotation marks with direct quotes. The rules governing the use of quotation marks are specific; however, students don't usually sit down and read about how to use quotation marks properly. So good for you, for being here! In this module, students will learn the rules governing the use of quotation marks in the situations outlined below:
When the quoted material is longer than four lines of your own text, it must be offset and indented (the way the examples on this page are offset and indented); however, do not use quotation marks with an offset quote as the offsetting substitutes for the punctuation. Quotes within the quote still take punctuation marks, however. If you are writing an essay in MLA format, the quote should be double-spaced (in MLA format, double-spacing is maintained throughout the essay).
1. When referring to words used as words, you can mark them out by either quotation marks, underlining or italics. Whichever option you choose, be consistent throughout any given piece of writing.
[Words set off with quotation marks]
[Words set off using italics]
2. When you use technical terms related to a certain profession or field of study, enclose them in quotation marks and provide a definition. This is important as your audience may not be familiar with these expressions and may take them at face value. If the audience of your writing is familiar with professional jargon, it would be unnecessary or even insulting to use quotation marks. Do not reuse quotation marks with technical terms once they have been introduced and defined.
When you quote, you generally want to be as concise as possible. Keep only the material that is strictly relevant to your own ideas. So here you would not want to quote the middle sentence, since it is repeated again in the more informative last sentence. However, just skipping it would not work -- the final sentence would not make sense without it. So, you have to change the wording a little bit. In order to do so, you will need to use some editing symbols. Your quotation might end up looking like this:
1. When writing the exact words (direct words) of a speaker quoted in dialog, you need to set the speech apart from the narrative (the words of the author telling the story) and differentiate between the different speakers' words. Therefore, enclose the words of each speaker's line with both opening and closing quotation marks. Non-dialog text may appear in the same paragraph as dialog.
2. When writing a dialog, you should start a new paragraph every time the writer changes. If the spoken lines are brief and you prefer to keep all information pertaining to a certain scene together, then you may start a new paragraph at the beginning of a new scene.
3. If a speaker is being quoted in more than one paragraph, use double quotation marks in the beginning of each paragraph, but add the closing quotation marks only at the end of the last paragraph of that speaker's paragraph sequence.
4. Do not use quotation marks in screenplays and scripts, where every line is dialog. Start a new paragraph every time the speaker changes.
When you have "embedded quotes," or quotations within quotations, you should switch from the normal quotation marks ("") to single quotation marks ('') to show the difference. For example, if an original passage by John Archer reads: