Posted in writing

5 Tips for Quotation marks – when to, when not to

1. Use double quotation marks to introduce an ironic, slang, or coined term. Only use it the first time, not anytime afterwards.

  • Example:  The “normal” thing to do would not work. Things were definitely not normal.

2. Use double quotation marks when introducing the name of a book in text.

  • Example: Their book, “The Adventures of Smooch: An anthology,” ranked No 1.

3. Use double quotation marks when quoting someone verbatim.

  • Example: “Ask not what your country can do for you,….” said President Kennedy.

4.  Do not use double quotation marks for technical words or key words; use italics instead.

5. Do not use double quotation marks when the quote has more than 40 words; use block style instead.

Reference: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association


For a list of Sheila’s books, check out



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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