The following is taken from OWL at Purdue University, which is an awesome source if you’re looking for more writing help!
Always remember to ICE:
- Introduce the quote,
- Cite your source,
- and Explain how it supports your idea.
Use a comma to introduce a quotation after a standard dialogue tag, a brief introductory phrase, or a dependent clause. For example: “He asked,” “She stated,” “According to Bronson,” or “As Shakespeare wrote.”
Use a colon to introduce a quotation after an independent clause.
- As D.H. Nachus explains, “The gestures used for greeting others differ greatly from one culture to another.”
- D.H. Nachus explains cultural differences in greeting customs: “Touching is not a universal sign of greeting. While members of European cultures meet and shake hands as a gesture of greeting...”
Put commas and periods within closing quotation marks, except when a parenthetical reference follows the quotation. When using parenthetical references, remember to put all punctuation after the closing parenthesis.
- He said, “I may forget your name, but I never remember a face.”
- History is stained with blood spilled in the name of “civilization.”
- Mullen, criticizing the apparent inaction, writes, “Donahue’s policy was to do nothing” (27).
Put colons and semicolons outside closing quotation marks.
- Williams described the experiment as “a definitive step forward”; other scientists disagreed
- Benedetto emphasizes three elements of what she calls her “Olympic journey”: family support, personal commitment, and great coaching.
Put a dash, question mark, or exclamation point within closing quotation marks when the punctuation applies to the quotation itself and outside when it applies to the whole sentence.
- Philip asked, “Do you need this book?”
- Does Dr. Lim always say to her students, “You must work harder”?
- Sharon shouted enthusiastically, “We won! We won!”