Exclamation Points and Question Marks

Exclamation Points

It is best to avoid using exclamation points, unless they appear in a passage you are quoting. Let the surprising nature of your information and ideas speak for itself. Don't force it on the reader.

Question Marks

Your writing should answer questions, not ask them. Occasionally, though, you may find it useful to ask a question or quote a passage that does so. When you do, you will usually end the sentence with a question mark and nothing else.

One critic asks, "What on earth were they thinking?" (Skeptic 7).

However, if a question appears within a cited quotation, use this format (the example is in MLA style):

Yes, that's a period after the citation. It looks a bit odd, but that's how it's done. See the citation article for more information.


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