Proper Use of Quotation Marks

Grammar Notes:

Quotation marks enclose an exact quotation, including punctuation, or each part of a quotation that is interrupted.  Indirect quotations or paraphrases are not placed in quotes.  Single quotes are used for quotes in a quotation, and nested quotes alternate double and single.

“She told me, ‘I didn’t do it,’” the man explained.

When a person is speaking, the quoted phrase will end with proper punctuation, with one exception: quotations should end with a comma instead of a period if the speaker is referenced immediately after the quote.  Even if the quoted phrase ends in an exclamation point or question mark, the speaker phrase will not be capitalized as a new sentence.

“I didn’t like that!” he exclaimed.

Uninterrupted quotations over multiple paragraphs will contain an opening quotation at the first paragraph and following paragraphs, but will not contain a closing quotation until the end of the last paragraph.

You may use quotation marks or italics to reference words in a special way or to define the special meaning of a word; the quotation marks help set it apart from the rest of the sentence.