According to The Chicago Manual of Style, commas and periods are almost always placed before a closing quotation mark, “like this,” rather than after, “like this”. This traditional style has persisted even though it’s no longer universally followed outside of the United States and isn’t entirely logical.
Chicago’s main system for citing sources—and the subject of chapter 14 of CMOS—consists of numbered notes in the text and a corresponding list of sources in a bibliography.
Blurbs are quotations of praise that appear on book covers and jackets, in press releases, on author websites, posters, and ads, in social media, and in the unnumbered pages at the beginning of a novel or creative nonfiction book. They may be solicited or excerpted from published reviews.
In our Fiction+ series, we set out to help CMOS users adapt Chicago style to creative writing contexts. Sometimes, Chicago’s general guidelines already work just fine; other times, they need a little noodge to sit comfortably on a page of fiction.
In novels and stories and other creative works, words spoken by a character are normally set off from the narrative with quotation marks, and the speaker is identified in the run of text by tags like “she said.”
This month’s workout, “Commas with Quotations and Questions,” is taken from CMOS 17, paragraphs 6.40–42. Advanced editors might tackle the questions cold; learners can study paragraphs 6.40–42 of the Manual before answering the questions.
In previous posts, we’ve described why and how to cite the sources you quote in your paper. Today, we’ll show how to write the quotations themselves. There are two main ways to present quotations: (1) you can set off a long quotation as a block, or (2) you can
This month’s workout, “Rules for Quoting,” centers on sections 13.7–8 of CMOS. Advanced editors might tackle the questions cold; learners can study those sections of the Manual before answering the questions.
A good rule of thumb is that changes to quotations are not permitted, period. So much is at stake when we present the words of someone else, whether spoken or written, and responsibility lies with the quoter to render what was said accurately and in a fair context. The actual wording of the quotation must be reproduced exactly. Yet CMOS 13.7 lists half a dozen things that are OK to change when quoting.
A look back to 1906, when the more straitlaced 1st edition of the Manual offered intriguing punctuation!, puzzling spaces ?, and curious examples . . .