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Sandwich Your Quotations

Do your students use quotations in their writing? This common practice allows writers to engage with experts, marshal evidence, and create dialogue. But the practice also comes with potential pitfalls.

Some students overuse quotations, adding so many that their own voice gets lost in the mix. Other students drop in quotations without enough context. The quotes just hang there with no clear connection to the surrounding ideas. And then there are students who find great quotations, offer effective context, but stumble over tricky punctuation rules.

Effectively integrating quotations involves much more than copying and pasting.

How can students use quotations more effectively?

Use this handout to show students a method for “sandwiching” quotations with context.

How can I help students punctuate quotations?

Share this video minilesson to clarify the punctuation rules associated with quotations:

Place quotation marks before and after direct quotations.

Futurist Don Reynolds says,"Today's students will go through an average of four careers in one life span."

Use single quotation marks to punctuate a quotation within a quotation.

"When Mr. Kurt said, 'Read this book by tomorrow,' I was stunned," said Sung Kim.

Periods and commas after quoted material always go inside the quotation marks.

"Let's go," said Angelo.
Angelo said, "Let's go."

An exclamation point or question mark is placed inside the quotation marks when it punctuates the quotation; it is placed outside when it punctuates the main sentence.

Ari asked, "How much do skydiving lessons cost?"
Did I hear Angelo say, "I love skydiving"?

Teacher Support:

Click to find out more about this resource.

Standards Correlations:

The State Standards provide a way to evaluate your students' performance.