When authors insert or change words in a direct quotation, they use square brackets——to indicate the alteration. The brackets, which are usually used in pairs, surround words that are meant to clarify meaning, give a brief explanation, or assist in integrating the quote into the writer's phrase. For example: "She said she would meet him at 8:00 at the entrance of the park." Here, the author has inserted the word "meets" to clarify that the man she expects to see at the party will be meeting her after work, not during it.
In addition to clarifying meaning, inserting words like these can also provide necessary context for the reader. Without them, the quote might seem out of place or incomplete. Authors often include short phrases or even just one word when editing their quotes to avoid having them take up additional space in the text. These additions make quotations more readable and interesting to read.
Words and phrases used to edit or supplement a direct quote should always appear within square brackets as well. This indicates to the reader that what follows is an addition to the original statement or idea.
For example: "She said she would meet him at 8:00 at the entrance of the park [meets]. He works late hours," would show readers that she expected to see David at her party after work, rather than during it.
Put your own or other words in square brackets if you wish to insert them into a quotation (). "The computer lab [in the science building] was beautifully designed," for example. If someone quotes only part of what you wrote, put the missing words in parentheses: he said ["Science is fun"]; she wrote ["Chemistry is awesome!"].
"Smart quotes," which are often curly or sloping, are the optimal shape of quotation marks and apostrophes. "Dumb quotes," also known as straight quotes, are a typewriter anachronism that helped conserve space on a keyboard by employing one key for two separate marks. Although they are still used today in some handwriting samples and old letters, dumb quotes are obsolete.
Quotation marks are usually used in pairs, one at the beginning and one at the conclusion of the cited text. The same rule applies to titles and phrases used in a certain context or to emphasize something. A direct quote should be surrounded by double quotation marks (""). A direct quotation is a verbatim account of what someone else said or wrote. When writing about others' opinions, make sure to attribute them to their authors.
Here are some examples of direct quotes: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." (Eduard von Grützner) "A man who knows nothing of history is always a slave to his current passions and prejudices." (Thomas Jefferson) "If voting changed anything they'd have fixed that problem long ago." (Gerald Ford)
Indirect quotes are statements made by others that are not attributed directly to them. In other words, they're opinions expressed by others that need attribution for clarity or brevity. These quotations often use hyphens or en-dashes instead of quotation marks because they indicate a fragment of a larger statement or thought.
Word automatically converts straight quotation marks ('or') to curly quotation marks (also known as "smart quotes" or "typographer's quotes") as you write text. Any quote that comes after an em dash (-) is now represented as an open quote (rather than a closed quote). This means that the quotation mark before and after the em dash is removed.
Quotation marks ("") are used to indicate that an author is utilizing the exact words of another person, character, or textual source. When citing someone's precise words, whether spoken or written, use quote marks exclusively. This is known as a direct quotation. If your source's words are only part of a sentence, then use quotation marks within the sentence itself: "Jill said she was going to the mall," she added, using quotation marks to indicate that this was her entire comment.
If you are including the phrase or sentence in its entirety from your source, do not include quotation marks, since they are not necessary. For example, if I were to write an essay about my favorite teacher at school, I might do so by including their name and also mentioning some of their habits and traits. In this case, there is no need for quotation marks since I am not taking words directly from them; instead, I am writing about facts that I have observed about them.
Using proper citation styles will help ensure that future scholars can find your sources even if they do not have access to the original document. For example, if I were to write an essay about my favorite teacher at school, I would need to provide all of their relevant information including their name, the year they began teaching at our school, and the address of where they work now if they do not live in town.