Undoubtedly the favorite punctuation mark of Tyrannosaurus rex, quotation marks are an essential tool for avoiding plagiarism. They can also set off text for other useful purposes.
The most common functions of quotation marks in academic writing are as follows:
- Quoting sources: A citation is necessary but not sufficient when borrowing language verbatim from a source; surround borrowed language with quotation marks to indicate that the words are someone else's.
- Titles: In your text, use quotation marks to enclose the titles of short works or those that are part of a larger publication, such as book chapters and articles. For more information on how to format titles in citations and references, consult your citation style guide.
- Referring to words as words: Use quotation marks when referring to words and phrases as such—e.g., the term "cybersecurity." (Italics can also be used for this purpose.)
- "Scare quotes": These quotation marks indicate the author's skepticism toward a description or idea. Rather than marking a source's words, they signal "critical distance" from our own.
With Other Punctuation
Commas and periods go inside quotation marks; semicolons and colons go outside.
For nested quotations, "use single quotation marks for the 'inside pair.'"
Quotation Marks Links