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Grad. Studies Home

Quotation Marks

Use Quotation Marks to

Report another person's spoken words

The first question each key respondent asked was, "How long will this interview take?"

Show the reader that the information came from someone else

"Cognitive behavior therapy, coupled with appropriate psychotropic medication, had the highest success rate of all the treatment options studied" ( Beck, 2007, p. 65).

Signal that the words inside the quotation are the title of a short published work, such as a journal article, a section of a book, the name of a poem.

After reading an article by Deborah Tannen called "Sex, Lies and Videotapes"in the New York Times last Sunday, I decided to check out some of her books.

The quotation marks around "Sex, Lies and Videotapes" in the sentence above indicate that this is a piece of a longer work, not a complete published book or journal or newspaper. (Titles of larger documents would be formatted in italics, as in New York Times.)

Indicate irony

Her "lecture," if you can call it that, lasted all of 30 seconds.

Do NOT Use Quotation Marks to

Report indirect conversation

The first question each key respondent asked was how long the interview would take.

[NOT: The first question each key respondent asked was "how long the interview would take."]

Report information learned from someone else that is longer than 40 words.

In APA style, longer quotations are not set off with quotation marks. Instead, the fact that the material is a quotation is shown by starting it on a new line, in a block of text that is indented 1/2 inch from the left margin (and following the block quotation with the author's name, year published and page number in parentheses.)