Integrating Quotations in Professional Writing

Quotations are key elements in any kind of writing. In formal writing, they may have a secondary function, but, in journalistic writing, facts and ideas revolve around quotations. Journalists aim to report stories, which are of importance and interest to the readers. Quotations lend credibility to their writing, give voice to the people represented, and add color to the facts. In formal writing, a sentence begins in normal tone and ends with a quotation. In journalistic writing, sentence begins with a quotation and ends with a comment on it. There is another notable difference between formal and journalistic writing. In formal writing, the sources (full references) of the quotations are placed either as footnotes (bottom of each page) or at the end of the text as a Reference List. On the other hand, in journalistic writing, the person’s name and affiliation are preferably mentioned in the sentence itself. Each quotation should be followed by its analysis, usually in one or more sentences, explaining why it is interesting and its significance. If the quotation is quite long and complex, it should be followed-up with a brief summary, which explains in what manner it helps your cause. Quotations (when used in a proper way) lend persuasion and strength to your main argument. However, one thing must be kept in mind; quotations can only supplement your argument, they should not be treated as the main argument.

Exclamation Mark

An exclamation mark usually shows strong feeling, such as surprise, anger or joy. Using an exclamation mark when writing is rather like shouting or raising your voice when speaking. Exclamation marks are most commonly used in writing quoted speech. You should avoid using it in formal writing, unless absolutely necessary.

1. Use an exclamation mark to indicate strong feelings or a raised voice in speech:

She shouted at him, “Go away! I hate you!”

He exclaimed: “What a fantastic house you have!”

“Good heavens!” he said, “Is that true?”

“Help!”

“Shut up!”

“Stop!”

2. Many interjections need an exclamation mark:

“Hi! What’s new?”

“Oh! When are you going?”

“Ouch! That hurt.”

3. A non-question sentence beginning with “what” or “how” is often an exclamation and requires an exclamation mark:

What idiots we are! (We are such idiots.)

How pretty she looked in that dress! (She looked very pretty in that dress.)

4. In very informal writing (personal letter or email), people sometimes use two or more exclamation marks together:

I met John yesterday. He is so handsome!!!

Remember, don’t be late!!

I’ll never understand this language!!!!

Remember, try to avoid exclamation marks in formal writing such as an essay or business letter.