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Present Quotes

A guide to help you punctuate your comment properly




Greta Gerwig


"Barbie is an icon."

The job title can also go after the name, if you use a pair of commas: Director Greta Gerwig said: Greta Gerwig, director, said:

ALWAYS double-check the spelling, you can sour a relationship with a source by making mistakes here.

For a full sentence, the full stop should go inside the quote. Use double quotation marks (not single).

Use 'said' whilst building your confidence with attributing quotes. It's also a good idea to check this against the house style of the publication.. Some magazines might use more colourful verbs but it's not likely in news.

  • Always start a longer quote on a new paragraph.
  • Keep pars to no more than five lines before starting a new paragraph.
  • Don't close quotes at the end of each par until the person has finished speaking.

Longer quotes


Shorter words or phrases can be placed within sentences, and can be handy for putting some distance between the writer and what's being said (especially in a legal sense).In the previous example, you could use a fragment of the quote (sometimes called 'reported speech' like this:Detective Inspector Stuart Alexander condemned the "horrific level of violence" that the victim did not recover from. If you use a short quote like this at the end of a sentence, remember to put the full stop on the outside of the quote, not inside like a full-sentence quote.

Shorter quotes

Don't over-explain your quotes - it wastes words. Avoid the following:E.g. I sat down with James to ask him...I then went on to askYou should only inject yourself into the copy in this way if you're setting up the quote because they haven't given you direct speech that makes sense without explanation:I asked James what the changes would mean for his work: "it would be transformative," he said. (Note if you attribute the speaker at the end, you use a comma before he/she/they said.)

Setting up quotes

Use of names

If you have multiple sources in a feature, introduce them with full name (and any relevant info like job title/age/location) at first mention but only use their surname after.TO BE ADDED - He/she/they added chat

What quotes to use

  1. Your audience is in a daze.
  2. Nobody understands anything you’ve said.
  3. You hear your audience snoring.
  4. There’s so much text that there’s no room for images.

Quotes within quotes use single quotation marks and are introduced with a comma. Tom said: “I couldn’t believe we were still talking about quotes. “I thought to myself, ‘I feel like they've been going on about this forever’."

Quotes within a quote

Detective Inspector Stuart Alexander from Police Scotland's Major Investigation Team, said: "The horrific level of violence inflicted upon Ashley Hawkins by someone who was supposedly his friend resulted in him sustaining serious and significant injuries, which he could not recover from. [Don’t close quotes til finished speaking]"The length of Davies' sentence reflects the joint commitment of Police Scotland and the Crown Office in bringing violent offenders to justice and removing them from our communities." [Close quotes now]