questions: punctuation and capitalization
- Direct questions within sentences
Do not use quotation marks with a direct question included within a sentence. Precede the question with a comma, and if the question is relatively long or has internal punctuation, begin the question with a capital letter. An indirect question takes no comma or special punctuation. Examples:
- Suddenly he asked himself, where am I headed?
- Teachers had to confront the issue, Should we dedicate time to better prepare students for assessments, or are we just teaching to the test?
- What to do next is the question.
- In dialogue
Reserve quotation marks to indicate that the question is actual dialogue, (i.e., that it is literally spoken aloud, and the speaker can reasonably expect an answer). Note that the second example could be rendered this way — Suddenly he asked himself, “Where am I headed?” — if the author wished to emphasize that the words were not rhetorical, but were actually spoken aloud.