Enclose direct quotations
Use quotation marks to enclose direct quotations. Direct quotations are quotations that are repeated verbatim. For example:
- President Franklin Roosevelt said, "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."
- "These are the enemies: poverty, ignorance, disease. They're our enemies, not our fellow man, not our neighbor. And these enemies too — poverty, disease, and ignorance: we shall overcome," said President Lyndon Johnson.
For quotations that span more than one paragraph, only place a closing quotation mark at the end of the entire quotation. Place an opening quotation mark at the beginning of each new paragraph. For example:
- President Barack Obama addressed the nation, "My fellow citizens:
"I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
"Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents."
Do not use quotation marks to enclose indirect quotations. Indirect quotations are statements that are paraphrased from direct quotations. For example:
- President Franklin Roosevelt said that December 7, 1941, the date of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, is a date that will live in infamy.
- President Lyndon Johnson said that the American people could overcome the enemies of poverty, disease, and ignorance.
Do not use quotation marks to enclose block quotations. For example:
- President John F. Kennedy addressed the nation on January 20, 1961, in his inaugural address:
We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of
freedom — symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning —
signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you
and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed
nearly a century and three-quarters ago.