How to Use Quotation Marks in a Report

Police and correctional officers often quote witnesses and suspects word-for-word in their reports–causing problems if you’re unsure about the punctuation.

Here’s the rule: Commas and periods always go inside quotation marks. In the US, there are no exceptions. (Canada and the United Kingdom do it differently.)

Here are a few examples:

Lewis replied, “I never touched her.”  CORRECT

Inmate Yan told me, “I work for the chaplain,” when I asked why he was in the building. CORRECT

“This will never work,” said Commissioner Ryan.  CORRECT



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