Attribution • Commas and periods go inside quotation marks. • Question marks go inside if when applies to quoted matter only, outside if apply to the whole sentence: • Who wrote “Gone With the Wind”? • He asked, “How long will it take?”
Attribution • Use commas with attribution when you have direct quotes: • “I like being here,” he said. • While grammatically correct, avoid putting attribution at start of direct quote: He said, “I like being here.” Instead, “I like being here,” he said.
Attribution • Use commas with attribution like “according to” • According to school officials, attendance is down. • Attendance is down, according to school officials.
Attribution • Use commas when attributions come after, not before, a paraphrase: • Jackson said the Badgers look strong. • The Badgers look strong, Jackson said. • See: Roxy’s
Attribution • With multiple-sentence quotes, put the attribution after the first sentence: • “I like our chances,” the coach said. “We can will all our games.” • Not: “I like our chances. We can win all our games,” the coach said.
Attribution • The basics: • A period follows the attribution: • “I like you,” he said. “Do you like me?” • A comma almost always proceeds the attribution: • Don’t use an exclamation point and a comma: • Wrong: “Oh boy!,” the child said.
Attribution • Copy editors need to pay close attention to quotes. They are a key area to look at when you need to trim: • Does the quote add to the story? • Does it repeat something already said? • Could you paraphrase the direct quote to shorten it? • Check out Software
Attribution • Double-check attribution: • Do you have the right person attributed? • Is the attribution clear? • Is it needed?