March 16 2012

Smart quotes

by Barbie in Formatting

With so many things to worry about in your paper, the last thing you want to deal with is quotation marks. Chances are you didn’t know that there are two types of quotation marks: smart quotes (curly) and straight quotes. The font you choose has a lot to do with what type of quotation marks are in your paper. Serif fonts such as Times New Roman are going to create smart quotes, while sans serif fonts such as Arial will create straight quotes.

In several recent projects, we’ve noticed inconsistencies in the type of quotation marks used. Most of our academic clients use the standard serif font Times New Roman, so we expect to see smart quotes. However, straight quotes often get into your paper if you are copying and pasting from another document that uses that style of quotation mark. It’s an easy fix, but inconsistent quotes are an issue that you’d likely never notice since your focus is on the content of your document.

That’s why hiring an editor is important. You need someone with a keen eye for detail to ensure that even the smallest items, such as quotation marks, remain consistent throughout your paper.