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Contents

Placement 

Chapter:
Punctuation
Author(s):

Cheryl Iverson

Placement

Place closing quotation marks outside commas and periods, inside colons and semicolons. Place question marks, dashes, and exclamation points inside quotation marks only when they are part of the quoted material. If they apply to the whole statement, place them outside the quotation marks.

Why bother to perform autopsies at all if the main finding is invariably “edema and congestion of the viscera”?

The clinician continues to ask, “Why did he die?”

“I'll lend you my stethoscope for clinic”—then she remembered the last time she had lent it and said, “On second thought, I'll be needing it myself.”

(Note: Commas are not always needed with quoted material. For example, in the following example commas are not necessary after “said” or to set off the quoted material.)

He said he had had his “fill of it all” and was “content” to leave the meeting.

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