Punctuation with Quotes and Attribution 1. When introducing a direct quotation with attribution, place a comma after the verb and before the opening quotation marks. This rule applies when the direct quotation is a complete sentence: Example: Smith said, “I don’t like slinging mud at other candidates.” When the quotation includes two or more complete sentences, use a colon after the verb and before the opening quotation marks. Example: Smith said: “I don’t like slinging mud at other candidates. But I will throw it.” 2. When using attribution at the end of a direct quote, use a comma at the end of the quotation. Example: “The dog is a mess,” he said. 3. When introducing an indirect quote (paraphrase) with attribution, do not place a comma after the verb. Example: Smith said he didn’t like slinging mud at other candidates. 4. When ending an indirect quote with attribution, do place a comma before the attribution. Example: Candidates should not sling mud at each other, Smith said. 5. When using attribution in the middle of an indirect quote, set the attribution off with commas. Example: Candidates should not sling mud at each other, Smith said, because this behavior is inappropriate. When using long indirect quote, this method will help to avoid boring ‘he said’ repeating. Example: Smith described what happened next: He ran … “It was dark, …” (After you establish a source, you don’t need to attribute in direct quote.) 6. A direct quotation in which attribution is placed in the middle of a sentence should be punctuated in one of two ways, depending on whether you are using one sentence in quotations, or more than one. Example: “We will not back down,” he said, “because we never back down.” “We will not back down,” he said. “Backing down goes against what we stand for.” 7. When using partial direct quotes, do not capitalize the first word of the quote unless it is a proper noun. Also, do not place a comma before the partial quote unless one is required under another rule governing commas. Example: The politician said she would “call for the director’s head.” Example: The FBI director announced plans to build barricades around the federal building in Omaha, Neb., “to prevent a repeat of the devastating Oklahoma City bombing.” 8. Commas and periods general are placed inside quotation marks.