I'm writing a technical thesis and I need to explain the meaning of a lot of words. However I'm not a native English speaker.

The so-called "blah" is a thing that does this and that.

Blah was an unknown word to the reader, but was explained after its introduction. It's going to be needed a couple more times in the thesis.
edit: I should mention that the words can be from a foreign language.

How do I handle quotation marks when I'm going to keep using those new words?
Do I need them every time the word comes up again, or only once? Or do I need them at all?

  • You don't necessarily need them, in fact use of quotation marks could convey quite a different meaning. Rather, having explained the meaning at the time of the first mention should take care of everything. Thereafter it's just another (now known) word like any other. This is from convention and personal experience, not a canonical source. HTH.
    – Kris
    Jun 14 '18 at 9:46
  • You shouldn't use both "so-called" and quotation marks. Just one or the other. But I prefer italics, as in the answer given, especially when it is used to simply introduce something—rather than to refer to it sarcastically. Jun 15 '18 at 2:33

Optional really. Another way of doing it is in italics, especially for a foreign word, eg.

He considered that ceteris paribus, the first house was the one to buy. This is the Latin phrase meaning to treat all other considerations as equal.

  • Makes sense and I think italics are also prettier for the eye.
    – user303213
    Jun 14 '18 at 14:18

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