Extended Rules for Using Quotation Marks
A rundown of the general rules of when and where to use quotation marks.
Contributors:Sean M. Conrey, Mark Pepper, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2010-04-17 06:03:37
Altering the Source Material in a Quotation
The responsibility of representing other people's words accurately lies firmly on the shoulders of the author. Inaccurate quotes not only defeat the purpose of using a quote, they may also constitute plagiarism. However, there are approved methods for altering quotes for either clarity or succinctness.
If the original quote is too long and you feel not all the words are necessary in your own paper, you may omit part of the quote. Replace the missing words with an ellipsis.
Make sure that the words you remove do not alter the basic meaning of the original quote in any way. Also ensure that the quote's integration and missing material still leave a grammatically correct sentence.
If the context of your quote might be unclear, you may add a few words to provide clarity. Enclose the added material in brackets.
Quotations within a Quotation
Use single quotation marks to enclose quotes within another quotation.
Quotation Marks Beyond Quoting
Quotation marks may additionally be used to indicate words used ironically or with some reservation.
Do not use quotation marks for words used as words themselves. In this case, you should use italics.