The most common errors in using quotation marks involve the placement of other punctuation marks around them.
1) Periods, commas, question marks and exclamation points (if the last two are part of the quotation) go inside quotation marks.
Nelson sent the signal: "England expects every man
to do his duty."
"Every time I hear a Bach chorale, I get goose bumps,"
"Who knows what she'll do next?" Michael asked.
"Stop! Thief!" the shopkeeper cried.
How many of you have read "The Lottery"? (The question mark is not part of the story title.)
2 ) Colons and semicolons go outside quotation marks.
Sara took a dim view of Robert's "tone poem": She hated it.
One of the most famous Sherlock Holmes stories is "Silver Blaze"; it concerns a dog that did not bark in the night.
3) Use quotation marks around titles of short works, such as articles or essays, short stories, reports, book chapters, songs, or short poems.
4) Use single quotation marks around a title or quotation that appears inside a quotation.
"My favorite poem is 'Fire and Ice,'" Melanie said.
"I love to sing 'Yankee Doodle,'" Katelyn explained.
"When I reached out to help him, he cried, 'Get away from me,'" Matthew said.