quotations

Periods and commas always go within quotation marks. Dashes, colons, semicolons, question marks and exclamation points go within quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence: “Did you take the test yet?” she asked; He thus defined the “crux of the matter”: equal pay for equal work.

  • Use single quotation marks in headlines. Quotation marks are not required in formats that identify questions and answers by Q: and A:.
  • AP style uses quotation marks for the following titles: albums, art, books, classical music, apps and software, individual lectures, movies, operas, plays, poems, radio programs and series, songs, speeches, television programs and series and video games. Italics are not used. See titles of compositions.
  • Try to avoid quotations that run over several paragraphs. If a full paragraph of quoted material is followed by a paragraph that continues the quotation, do not place close-quote marks at the end of the first paragraph.

Example

“The professor challenged us,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d pass the final.

“But in the end, I did better than I expected,” she added.

 

  • In most cases, you can run the quoted material in a single paragraph.

Example

“The professor challenged us,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d pass the class. But in the end, I did better than I expected.”

 

  • If a paragraph ends with a partial quotation or quoted phrase, and the next paragraph continues the quote, place close-quote marks at the end of the first paragraph.

Example

He called the class “the most difficult ever.”

“But in the end,” he said, “it was also the most rewarding.”

 

If excerpting comments from a quotation, do not put ellipses at the beginning or end of the quotation. Ellipses are only necessary when taking words within a sentence out of a quotation. E.g., if a quotation reads: “The professor challenged us,” Jane said. “I didn’t think I’d pass the class. It was the most difficult ever. But in the end, I have to say, it was the most rewarding,” it can be excerpted thus: “In the end … it was the most rewarding,” Jane said. Never omit words if the change will alter the speaker’s intended message.

See ellipses.

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