In or Out
Should the period go inside the quotation marks or outside them? I could pause right now and let the fight begin, but for now let’s review the official ruling.
The period should go inside the quotation marks.
Now, there is no argument in putting a period inside quotation marks when you are dealing with dialogue. It is pretty much cut and dry. But what if you are using the quotation marks for the title of a book or in quoting someone?
The rule still applies, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. Here’s why. When something is set in quotation marks, it is separated. It is an entity by itself though it is incorporated with the rest of the sentence and the sentences around it. When a period goes inside the quotation marks, it is set aside as being part of the section in the marks. If I’m quoting Winston Churchill, I’d put his direct words in quotes. If the words did not end with a period because it was just part of a sentence, then why would I put the period inside the quotation marks?
John said: The structure of the building was sound enough to support all floors.
If I quote John as saying that the “structure of the building was sound,” it would have the period within the quotation marks at the end of my sentence. Yet there is not a period after that part of the quote in John’s original words. See why I fight against it?
But the rule is official. The period goes inside the quotation marks. A few teachers agree with my stance and will not mark it wrong, but play it safe; use the Chicago Manual of Style as a guide as it is the basis for the academic world. It says ‘in’ despite my argument of staying out.