“He said, She said”All about Quotes Beginning Journalism
Qualities of a good, dance on the table quote: • An important person said it • It is a unique statement • It is an ordinary statement phrased in a unique manner
Attributing quotes • All quotes need to be attributed to the source. (no floating quotes) • WRONG: “That was a fantastic performance.” • RIGHT: “That was a fantastic performance,” junior Sally Smith said.
Placement • Attribution should occur at the end of the quote or in the middle, not at the beginning. • WRONG: He said, “I hope we are having tacos for lunch today.” • RIGHT: “I hope we are having tacos for lunch today,” he said.
More Placement • For long quotes, the attribution should be in the middle, in a logical place. EXAMPLE: “Since the Minnesota Twins have never lost a World Series game in the Metrodome, I think their stadium should be torn down,” senior Jack Jones said. “The magic of the dome should be preserved.”
Punctuation • Punctuation ALWAYS goes INSIDE the quote marks. • EXAMPLE: “I wish everybody could drop seminar,” junior Sarah Stevens said.
Punctuation • Start a new paragraph for each quote. • Quotes stand alone.
Verb for Attribution • Always use said with a quote. • In RARE cases, it may be appropriate to include how it was said (he said with a grin), but most of the time, it is not. • Avoid descriptive attribution —exclaimed, shouted, whispered, snarled, quipped, explained, shared…they imply bias and are cheesy.
Verb for Attribution • Said always goes after the sources name. • People are more important than verbs.
Attribution exception • Use “according to” when referring to previously printed material. • Ex: • According to The Kansas City Star…
Attribution • Never refer to the interview in the attribution. • NO • When asked… • In reference to the question…
Source Names • Sources should always be identified. • Use the full name of the source first, then use the last name for all other references. • EXAMPLE: Junior Sara Smith thinks the policy is bogus. “It’s so dumb. The teachers are just trying make fools out of us,” Smith said.
Even more attribution rules • Use year in school to identify students, • Include a special title (student body president, quarterback, etc.) if they have one. • DO NOT capitalize those grades. • EXAMPLES: sophomore Sara Smith junior French Club president Sally Smith freshman point guard J.J. Jumper senior class president Carolyn Gatewood
Even more attribution rules • Identify teachers by subject or organization but not both. • Avoid courtesy titles—no Mr., Ms., Miss or Mrs. You may use Dr. when appropriate. • EXAMPLE: English teacher Justin Bogart OR head basketball coach Justin Bogart principal Dr. Joe Gilhaus social studies teacher Scott Hirons
Even more attribution rules • Do not quote inanimate objects or organizations. Attribute it to a person. • WRONG: He dropped out when he was 17, according to the school. • RIGHT: He dropped out when he was 17, according to principal Dr. Joe Novak.
Even more attribution rules • Avoid stacking quotes. • “I love vanilla ice cream,” she said. • “I love chocolate ice cream,” he said. • This is lazy reporting. You haven’t gotten enough facts.
Even more attribution rules • Do not capitalize the names of grades or titles unless they are start the sentence. • WRONG: “That was so gross,” Junior Ed Smith said. • RIGHT: “It’s up to the students,” sophomore Silly Student said.
Common Errors • If you don’t know the name or title, DO NOT MAKE IT UP. EVER. Making anything up is bad, no matter what. • Comma goes inside the quotation marks. • Name and title BEFORE said. • Use this style always: “Quote,” title + name said.