Single Quotation Marks
Single quotes are used to indicate key terms or concepts.
Example: Sartre’s treatment of ‘being’, as opposed to his treatment of ‘non-being’, has been thoroughly described in Kaufmann’s book.
Single quotes can also indicate a quotation within a quotation.
Example: “I was leaving the room when I heard someone yell ‘Look Out!’” explained Samantha.
Double Quotation Marks
Double quotation marks are used to indicate speech or a quotation from a source.
Example: “What are you doing?” Emily asked.
Double quotation marks are used as scare quotes.
Example: Politicians say that they “care” about post-secondary student debt.
This use of quotations indicates an alternate meaning than the word would normally imply. For instance, this author is suggesting that politicians do not care about post-secondary student debt.
Double quotation marks are often used to indicate titles such as the name of a poem or a journal article.
Example 1: “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is a poem by John Keats.
Example 2: “Modernism and Gender” is a journal article in The Cambridge Companion to Modernism.
Generally, the titles of articles, poems, songs, or chapters in a textbook would be enclosed by double quotation marks. Always double check what citation style is required, and adjust your quotation use accordingly.
Double quotation marks are used in academic writing to indicate information that is from another source.
Example: Rosemarie Morgan argues that “Hardy does appear to have had some faith in aesthetic distance” (Morgan 297).
Enclosing text within double quotations signals to the reader that that information is from another source and it has not been paraphrased or altered in any way by the author of the work that the quotation appears in.