People see and use quotation marks every day. They are a part of every day life, but people don’t realize how useful they really are. Quotation marks are critical for writing essays, stories, and other literary works. They are used primarily in two ways: when writing dialogue, and when quoting other works of literature. It is important to understand the proper way to use quotation marks in order to improve the overall quality of your writing.
1. The first way to use quotation marks is when you write dialogue. Dialogue is when two or more characters in a story are speaking to each other. If you’ve ever read a book, then you’ll know what it looks like.
For example: “Did you get the milk yet?” Suzie asked. Maria shook her head and Suzie frowned. “Well, what are you waiting for? I need it to make dinner!”
As you can see, whenever Suzie is talking, the quotation marks are put around what she says. The actions that Suzie does, like frowning, doesn’t appear inside the quotation marks because she is not speaking about what she is doing.
One thing you should be careful of is when you are writing dialogue of somebody quoting. It seems confusing at first, but this example will explain it pretty well:
“And then she said, ‘Well, what are you waiting for?’ I can’t believe she can boss me around like that!” Maria exclaimed, exasperated.
When using quotation marks inside quotation marks, you only use one quotation mark to open and close the quote, rather than two.
You’ll also notice that the question mark at the end of the sentence is on the inside of the quotation marks. This is very important, but not the main point of the article. Go here to learn more about end punctuation marks and their relationship to quotation marks.
2. Quotation marks can also be used to quote what someone has said or something you read in a book, online article, or other source of information.
For example: “This above all: to thine own self, be true” is one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes.
The text you are quoting goes inside the quotation marks. It’s really simple, and you’ll get the hang of it quickly. If you are quoting specific information for an essay, be sure to cite the source properly, be it MLA format or whichever format your teacher requires.
Quotation marks are very important to literature. They allow people to borrow, in a sense, information from others, and they bring creativity to stories. But it is important to use these symbols correctly in order to state your ideas in a clear manor, not to mention show that you know what you’re doing.