Using Punctuation Around Quotation Marks in APA

If you are writing for a publication that demands the use of APA style, follow these simple guidelines to using punctuation in and around quotation marks.

Punctuation mark Place inside or outside closing quotation mark? Example
Period (full stop) Inside A and B thought the theory of everything was “informative” and “essential.”
Comma Inside C and D stated that the theory of everything was “informative,” “essential” and “persuasive.”
Parentheses Outside E (2016) argued that “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit” (p. 101).
Semi colon Outside The first participants described the process as “Duis rhoncus dictum lacus in pretium”; the second participants described the process as “Nullam ultrices augue quis varius egesta.”
Colon Outside Mr. Smith said he was “excited”: this was expected.
Question mark (part of quote) Inside The question posed was “How do you rate the theory of everything on a scale from one to ten?”
Question mark (not part of quote) Outside Why is it important to know why Mr. Smith said “Fusce finibus nisi sit amet convallis aucto”?
Quotation within quotation – with period or comma Inside Mr. Smith said “I don’t believe in the ‘theory of everything.'”

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Posted in APA Style Tips.