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  • Writer's pictureHeather Wenonah Ellis

Quotation Marks and Abbreviations: How to Know Where to Place the Period

Updated: Jul 12, 2021


Welcome to Clever Writer By Heather!

My mission here is to encourage you to DREAM big so you can CREATE stories that will INSPIRE others!

I'm Heather. I love creating stories. I'm the author of Colors of the World: Adventures.

And Guardian of the Dream Tree.

Before I became an author, I was an elementary school teacher for 15 years.

In those 15 years, I had to teach English Language Learners and children with learning disabilities how to read and write in the English Language.

I taught a lot about grammar and punctuation.

Okay, why are we here?

We're here because we want to be better writers.

We want to be authors.

We don't want our manuscript to be dropped to the bottom of a slush pile on some agents' desks because we turned in a document's filled with sloppy grammatical errors.

Think about it. All that hard work you put into creating your story filled with grammar errors could make you appear unprofessional to the trained agents' eyes.

If you love writing and you want to be an author and make this your lifestyle, you may want to take some time to learn some basic grammar and punctuation rules.

In this series, I want to help you out by offering tips on some of the different grammar traps that can frustrate us and slow our progress sometimes as writers.

In today's blog, we will be looking at some punctuation rules to help you write that fabulous story you've been itching to write with confidence.

We will be looking at how and when to use a period.

Specifically, we will be looking at where to place the period when using quotation marks and where to use abbreviations.

As an emerging writer or an accomplished author seasoned in publishing, every writer needs to understand punctuation basics and how they work to write clearly in the English language.

This reminds me of a quote by Mark Ford. He said,

"Good writing is good thinking clearly expressed"~ Mark Ford.

Okay, let's dive into some useful writing techniques in using periods in our writing.

Click on the video above and you will see all of the visuals that go along with this teaching.

We use a period at the end of a complete sentence that is a statement.

A period is a full stop toward the finish of a sentence.

It shows that the sentence has ended.

To be a sentence, it must have an action word and a subject.

An action word is a verb, which is something the subject is doing.

The subject is a person, place, or thing that acts.

To write a complete thought as a statement, you end it with a period.

Here is an example from my MG book, Guardian of the Dream Tree:

By the way, MG means Middle-grade fiction

referring to books written for readers between the ages of 8 to 12 years old.

"Sanja looked up into the woman's eyes and noticed a blue light shining from them."

Okay, now where do you put a period when using quotation marks?

Are they in, or are they out?

Periods ALWAYS go inside quotation marks.

Here's another example:

She pointed to the bag of licorice and peppermint roots and said, "I'll take a pound of those, please."

See the period?

It's nice and tucked inside the quotation marks as a child tucked in bed with their favorite bedtime story.

So, where do you place the period when using abbreviations?

Another place you may use a period is at the end of an abbreviation.

Here's an example of what is correct and incorrect:

Correct: I stared at the placard on the door, Dr. Patricia Benko, M.D.

Incorrect: I stared at the placard on the door, Dr. Patricia Benko, M.D..

Suppose the last thing in the sentence is abbreviated closed by a period.

In that case, we don't want to follow it with another period.

That's a mistake to avoid and can have you looking like a competent writer in no time.

Well, I hope this blog helped you gain more confidence in your writing by looking at some punctuation rules.

We looked at how and when to use a period.

Where to place the period when using quotation marks.

And where to place the period when using abbreviations.

I hope this blog helped to clarify those questions for you today.

So here's a question I leave you with.

What grammar or punctuation issue really hangs you up in your writing?

Leave a comment below. I'd love to know.

Until next time,

Happy writing!

You may like other videos in my Grammar and Punctuation Writing Tips series on my Clever Writer By Heather YouTube channel. Go ahead and click subscribe and hit that bell so you can stay updated on my latest videos and writing tips.

If you'd like to do further reading on my other writing tips, I invite you to check out my website, The Clever Writer Portal.



Jane Straus, Punctuation Rules-Periods,, date unknown

MLA Style Center,, 12 July 2018

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