EPD Best Practices
When quote marks are being used, punctuation normally goes inside the quote marks.
1. In the United States, put the punctuation mark INSIDE the quote mark. Below are some examples.
2. To use a question mark or an exclamation point with a sentence that ends in a quotation, follow logic to determine punctuation placement. There are two sub-rules here:Example 1:To get to the next page, click "Enter."Example2:The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1987 has a goal of zero discharge, stating "The discharge of toxic substances in toxic amounts be prohibited and the discharge of any or all persistent toxic substances be virtually eliminated."Example 3:The fans that force flue gas out of a boiler also pull what is called "fly ash" along with the rest of the hot gaseous "exhaust."
- If it is part of the quotation itself, put it inside the quotation marks.
Example:We asked management "How are we capturing the knowledge base with this project?"
- If it governs the sentence as a whole but not the material being quoted, put it outside the quotation marks.
Example:How are we to maximize "functionality"?
3. With APA and IEEE citation formats, the punctuation waits until after the citation.
4. In the U.S., we use double quote marks. the only time to use single quote marks is when there is a quote within a quote (quite a rarity in technical communication). A note about international usage: Outside of the U.S., writers tend to place commas and periods logically rather than conventionally, depending on whether the punctuation belongs to the quotation or to the sentence that contains the quotation. Wikipedia has a decent explanation of this.Example for APA:Over the next year, analysts from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs expect coal prices to increase 98%, citing "extreme tightness as global supply growth struggles to keep up with Asian demand" (Reuters, 2008).Example for IEEE:Over the next year, analysts from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs expect cola prices to increase 98%, citing "extreme tightness as global supply growth struggles to keep up with Asian demand" .