Quotations - AMA Manual of Style

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Cheryl Iverson

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Use quotation marks to enclose a direct quotation of no more than 4 lines from textual material or speeches (for longer material, see also 8.6.14, Quotation Marks, Block Quotations). When the quotation marks enclose conversational dialogue, there is no limit to the length that may be set in run-on format.

In all quoted material, follow the wording, spelling, and punctuation of the original exactly. The only time this rule does not apply is when the quoted material, although a complete sentence or part of a complete sentence in its original source, is now used as part of another complete sentence. In this case, the capital letter in the quoted sentence would be replaced by a lowercase letter in brackets.

Similarly, in legal material any change in initial capital letters from quoted material should be indicated by placing the change in brackets. (See 8.5.2, Brackets, Insertions in Quotations.)

To indicate an omission in quoted material, use ellipses. (See 8.8, Ellipses.)

To indicate editorial interpolation in quoted material, use brackets. (See 8.5.2, Brackets, Insertions in Quotations.) Use [sic] after a misspelled word or an incorrect or apparently absurd statement in quoted material to indicate that this is an accurate rendition of the original source. However, when quoting material from another era that uses now obsolete spellings, use sic sparingly. Do not use sic with an exclamation point. (Note: The use of sic is not limited to quoted material; in other instances, it means that any unusual or bizarre appearance in the preceding word is intentional, not accidental.) (See 8.5.2, Brackets, Insertions in Quotations.)

The author should always verify the quotation from the original source.

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