Quoting conventions

When using quotes, you need to follow certain conventions so that your reader can tell where the quote begins and ends. Quotes are usually referenced like this;

To quote a word, phrase or short passage:

  • use single quotation marks ['...'] at the beginning and end of the quote
  • use double quotations marks ["..."] around a second quote if you're using a quote referenced in another quote.

This example is from a piece written about Erosion, in the Explore history section of this site.

'[...] When John Murray first entered Port Phillip Bay in 1803, he wrote in his log book: "the ground was hard and pleasant to walk on ... the soil is good as far as we may be judges".'

To quote a long passage or speech:

  • begin on a new line
  • indent the quote
  • don't use quote marks
  • start the sentence following the quote on a new line.

All the quotes in the Explore history section of this site are quoted in this way, like in the piece below about Ernest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer;

[...] The strain caused by that ill-fated expedition was clear in Shackleton's descriptions of the event:

Death is a very little thing - the smallest thing in the world. I can tell you that, for I have come face to face with death...

Avoid using a quote as the last part of a paragraph or essay – it's always better to end with your own words.