Quick Tip:
Conquering Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are not the most difficult bits of punctuation. But when they aren't used correctly, they can leap off the page at your prospects … and reduce the credibility of the copy.

Here are 6 quotation mark strategies to make your designs professional looking:

  • When using justified text, hang quotation marks just outside the left and right margins. This makes the block of text look more even on the sides.
  • When quotations are interrupted by non-quoted material, the first word of the second sentence is capitalized only if it begins a new sentence:

    “Antioxidants are destroyed when heated,” the report said. “So eat raw vegetables.” BUT: “Antioxidants,” the report said, “are destroyed when heated.”

  • When quoted material contains several paragraphs, add a quotation mark at the beginning of each paragraph but only at the end of the last paragraph.
  • Use single quotation marks to indicate a quote within a quote:

    The doctor said, “Heed the advice of John Smith: 'Eat your vegetables.' Let me show you his book.”

  • Use quotation marks to enclose the titles of short works: short stories, short poems, chapters from a book, articles or sections from magazines and newspapers. Titles of long works such as books, magazines, newspapers, albums, long poems, etc. should be italicized.
  • Should you use quotation marks or italics to indicate words that receive special emphasis? Ask the copywriter. It can be done either way and most writers have a preference.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: October 3, 2006

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