Style Guide Categories



Due to their ‘cleaner’ (less-cluttered) appearance, single typographer’s quotation marks are preferred to signify a quotation—not double quote marks and not straight quote marks. This is a straight quote mark: ' . These are curly (typographer’s) quote marks: ‘ (left) ’ (right).


Exceptions: anywhere an editor decides it would be inappropriate, unclear or less effective to follow the single quote rule and/or the curly quote rule. Eg. a comic for the web may work better with double curlies, PowerPoint slides also take double curlies, DVD subtitles use double straight quote marks for clarity.


Quotations within quotes are identified by the use of double quotation marks (e.g. The literary critic said: ‘We may call Count Valhaven both the “valiant one” and the one who provides a “haven” for the poor.’).


If there should be another quotation within the second set of quotes it is necessary to revert to single quotation marks (e.g. Her reply was, ‘No writer here said, “Your editing was ‘over-the-top’.”’).


Placement of full stop and quotation mark at the end of a quotation


  • Where a quotation is only part of a quoted sentence and ends the textual sentence, the quotation mark precedes the full stop.
  • Where a quotation ends the quoted sentence, and the full stop is part of the original quotation, the quotation mark follows the full stop.

    Do not use quotation marks for names of books, magazines, newspapers, films, plays, operas, ships, etc., unless not doing so would make the title unclear. Instead use italics, Fool’s Fate, 2Wheels, The Matrix, The Queen Victoria. (Words that were in italics in the original revert to normal text.)


    Indirect quotations introduced by the word ‘that’ do not carry quotation marks.


    e.g. The editor said that my work was very well written.


    Where the footnote reference mark blends with the quotation character they should be separated by a space.


    e.g. in the round.’2 becomes in the round.’ 2


    When there is an obvious mis-spelling in some original matter now being quoted, the word sic (meaning ‘thus’, set in italics if possible) may be enclosed in square brackets following the mis-spelt word. This will show that the error was in the original. For example: Baltico wrote that the essence of humanity was ‘a wholley [sic] spiritual phenomenon’.




    Emphasis within a quotation should be identified by the inclusion of the expression ‘emphasis added’ where the emphasis had been added by the copyist. When the emphasis had been the work of the original author, the expression ‘emphasis in the original’ may be used. The expression, in the same font as the quotation, shall be encapsulated inside square brackets inside the quotation.


    ‘The value of editing is undeniably connected with the professionalism of an organisation [emphasis added].’


    Emphasising text should be done with bold or italics, not all capitals or quote marks.



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