Do Quotation Marks Go inside or outside a Period?
How do we punctuate longer quotations?
Instead of enclosing longer quotations in quotation marks, we should indent them. Authorities differ slightly, but longer means poetry of three or more lines and prose of two or more sentences that run at least five lines. Introduce the offset quotation with a sentence ending in a colon:
According to his longtime producer, Woody Allen has written, produced, directed, and sometimes starred in a movie almost every year since the 1980s:
Where do we put the closing quotation mark?
In America, no matter how the material inside the quotation relates to the rest of a sentence (even if it’s only one word), the closing quotation mark always goes outside a comma or a period. It always goes inside a colon or a semicolon:
When Tamika said, “I’ll be all right, ” she did not know her cat had swallowed a hairball.
I was in the den reading Poe’s “The Telltale Heart ”; I didn’t even hear the screams emanating from the microwave.
Whether a quotation mark goes inside or outside a question mark (or dash or exclamation point) depends. If the sentence is not a question, but the quotation is a question, put the question mark inside, the quotation mark outside:
Georgina came running through the living room, yelling, “Where’s Jerome? ”
If the sentence is a question and the quotation is also a question, again put the question mark inside, the quotation mark outside, and do not follow it with another question mark.
Who do you think finally asked, “Could the problem be with the ignition?”
But if the sentence is a question, and the quotation is not, put the quotation mark inside, the question mark outside:
Do you remember who said, “Give me liberty or promise me you’ll protect me and provide me with a lot of cash”?
If the quotation appears first and is a question, the question mark goes inside, the quotation mark outside, and it is not followed by a period or comma:
“What can I do for my country?” Kennedy urged American youth to ask.
To include a quotation within a quotation, enclose it with single quotation marks:
Then the speaker added, “As many of you know, Einstein once said, ‘The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. ’”
Enclose the titles of the following in quotation marks:
songs, essays, short stories, television episodes, short poems, chapters in a book, magazine and newspaper articles
Last, if you want to highlight a word or short phrase for emphasis, instead of using quotation marks, I would italicize. It’s cleaner. But make sure you need to emphasize.