1. quotationsQuotations and Dialogue

      1. Put quotation marks (“ ”) around the actual words a person says or thinks (or, you can use italics instead for thoughts).

        "Ah," said Arthur, "this is obviously some strange usage of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of."
        1. Put the quotation marks around the whole speech, not around each individual sentence.

        2. For thoughts, you may choose to use italics instead of quotes, but it's one or the other, not both, and you need to do it the same way all the way through your writing.

      2. If you start by telling us who is talking or thinking, separate that from the actual words with a comma.

        Zaphod snarled, “Give me back my other head!”
      3. If you end by telling us who is talking or thinking, separate that from the actual words with a comma, exclamation point, or question mark INSIDE the quotation marks, but NEVER with a period.

        “It’s more like an electronic sulking machine, Arthur muttered.
        1. If you end by telling us who is talking or thinking, don’t capitalize the word after the end quote unless it is a name.

          "Are you serious, sir?" he said in a small whisper which had the effect of silencing the pub. "You think the world's going to end?"

          " said Ford.
        2. If the part that comes after the quote is a new sentence, be sure to end the quote with a period.

      4. If you put the person who is talking in the middle, separate the first part with a comma. Separate the second part with a comma and start the quotation with a lowercase letter if the speaker’s sentence continues: otherwise use a period, question mark, or exclamation point, and a capital letter.

        “My name,” he said, “is Slartibartfast.”
        "Magrathea's been dead for five million years," said Zaphod. "Of course it's safe. Even the ghosts will have settled down and raised families by now."
      5. Always start a quotation with a capital letter

        It said, “We would like to assure you that the guided missiles currently converging with your ship are part of a special service we extend to all of our most enthusiastic clients.”
      6. If the speech extends to more than one paragraph, put a quotation mark at the beginning of each new paragraph, but not at the end, until the last paragraph.

      7. Sometimes (but not all the time) try to think of different words, instead of always using “said.”

      8. In a long conversation between two people, you don’t have to keep telling us who’s talking.

      9. Always start a new paragraph whenever the speaker changes.

        “I’m not getting you down at all, am I? he said pathetically.
        "No, no, Marvin,” lilted Trillian, “that’s just fine, really ...”
        “I wouldn’t like to think I was getting you down.”
        “No, no, Marvin. That’s just fine, really ... just part of life”
        "Life,” said Marvin, “don’t talk to me about life.”
        ”I don't think I can stand that robot much longer, Zaphod,” growled Trillian.
        1. NEVER start a new paragraph in the middle of a sentence.

        2. Don't start a new paragraph in the middle of one person talking, unless it is a very long speech.

      10. NEVER use quotation marks to show sarcasm or to indicate a word is not the correct word.

        1. But you may use it to emphasize a word that is being mentioned or referred to.

      11. Always place periods, questions marks, exclamation points, and commas inside the quotation marks.

      12. Place quotation marks around the titles of songs, poems, and articles.

        We read "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost
      13. When you have someone saying something, you can tell us who said it at the beginning or the end of the quote, but never both.

        Wrong: She told me, "Don't go in there," she said.
        Right: She told me, "Don't go in there."
                 "Don't go in there," she said.