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  • Quotation marks. Use "doubles"; make them "straight", not “curly”. We use the term (also known as "quotes") to include their use (as distinct from italics) in marking the titles of articles, chapters, songs, television episodes, short films, and other short works, and as scare quotes.
  • Final punctuation. Place it inside the quotes if part of the quoted material, and outside if not. "Don't place a final comma inside like this," unless it is in the source and relevant to the meaning. If a quote ends mid-sentence, "don't place a final dot inside like this." (This is different from the practice of many US publications and some non-US publications.)*
  • Minimal change. Preserve the original text, spelling and punctuation. Where there is a good reason not to do so, place the altered text within square brackets. If there is a significant error in the original statement, use [sic] to show that the error was not made in transcription. Normally, correct trivial spelling or typographical errors silently (harasssment to harassment).
  • Attribution. Name the author of a quote of a full sentence or more, in the main text and not in a footnote. When preceding a quotation with its attribution, take care to be neutral.
  • Sourcing. Cite sources clearly and precisely to enable readers to find the original text.*
  • Ellipses. Use them to indicate where you have omitted text from a quotation. Don't omit text that conveys essential context or in a way that alters the meaning. Ellipses are indicated by three unspaced dots. Space them on both sides, with a hard-space on the left side where necessary, except that there should be no space between an ellipsis and:
    • a quotation mark, a parenthesis or a bracket, where the ellipsis is on the inside;
    • sentence-final punctuation, or a colon, semicolon, or comma (all rare), following the ellipsis but not on the left side if they come immediately after ("... until the unification.... After the collapse ... there was chaos.". Ellipses should not normally be bracketed [...] unless the distinction between ellipsis in the original text and Wikipedia's insertion of an ellipsis needs to be made (usually with an explanation straight after the quotation). *
  • Square brackets. Use them to indicate editorial replacements and insertions within quotations. Square-bracketed wording should never alter the intended meaning of a quotation. They serve three main purposes:
    • To clarify. ("She attended [secondary] school"—where this was the intended meaning, but the type of school was unstated in the original sentence.)
    • To reduce the size of a quotation. If a source says, "X contains Y, and under certain circumstances, X may contain Z as well", it is acceptable to reduce this to "X contains Y [and sometimes Z]", without ellipsis.
    • To make the grammar work: She said that "[she] would not allow this" – where her original statement was "I would not allow this". (Generally, though, it is better to begin the quotation after the problematic word: She said that she "would not allow this".)
  • Allowable typographical changes.
    • Italics within quotations. If WP uses italics for emphasis, put an editorial note [emphasis added] at the end: "Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest" [emphasis added]. If the source uses italics for emphasis and it's desirable to stress that WP has not added the italics, write [emphasis in original] after the quote.
    • Mid-sentence case. If an entire sentence is quoted in such a way that it becomes a grammatical part of the larger sentence, the first letter loses its capitalization: It turned out to be true that "a penny saved is a penny earned".
    • Styling of dashes. Use the style chosen for the article: unspaced em-dash or spaced en-dash (see Dashes below).
    • Curly quotes (and apostrophes). Make them "straight". In quoting foreign-language text, replace foreign typographical elements such as guillemets (« ») with their English-language equivalents (i.e., with straight quotation marks).
    • Foreign spacing. Any spacing before such items as colons : remove it.
    • Faces. Generally preserve bold and italics, but don't put whole quotations in italics just because they're quotations.
    • Quotations within quotations. "Use double quotes outermost, and 'singles' within". If this results in a jostling of adjacent quote marks ("'"), consider kerning them apart slightly with CSS templates (in edit space, {{" '}}, {{' "}} and {{" ' "}}).
  • Linking. Don't link from within quotes unless there is an overriding reason to do so.
  • Block quotations. Format a long quote (more than four lines or one paragraph) as a block quotation, without enclosing it in quotation marks. Click on the edit-tool below the edit window (tab to "Wikimarkup"). Type <p> to force a paragraph space within.


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