Underlining (Italics) Rule Underline (italicize) titles of books, plays, periodicals, films, television programs, works of art, long musical works, ships, aircraft, and spacecraft. Example Maniac Magee, Guys and Dolls, Spongebob Square Pants, The Mona Lisa, The DaVinci Code
Quotation Marks Rule Use quotation marks to enclose a direct quotation – a person’s exact words. A direct quotation begins with a capital letter. Example Bill said, “The bus is late.” (direct quotation) Bill said that the bus is late. (indirect quotation) Bill said, “The bus is late.”
When a quoted sentence is divided into two parts by an expression that identifies the speaker, the second part of the quotation starts with a small letter. A direct quotation is set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma, a question mark, or an exclamation point, but not a period. “Yes,” Bill said, “the bus is late.” “The bus is late,” Bill said. “It will be here later.” Bill said, “The bus is late.” “The bus is late,” Bill said.
A period or comma should always be placed inside the closing quotation marks. A question mark or an exclamation point should be placed inside closing quotation marks when the quotation itself is a question or an exclamation. Otherwise, it should be placed outside. Bill said, “The bus is late.” “The bus is late,” Bill said. “When will you be home, Mom?” asked Bill. Who said “Give me liberty or give me death”?
When you write dialogue (conversation), begin a new paragraph every time the speaker changes. When a quotation is made up of several sentences, put quotation marks only at the beginning and end of the whole quotation.
Use single quotation marks to enclose a quotation within a quotation. Use quotation marks to enclose the titles of short stories, poems, newspaper or magazine articles, songs, episodes of T.V. programs, and chapter and other parts of books. “Andrew Jackson’s nickname was ‘Old Hickory,’” said Mr. Jones.