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This question already has an answer here:

When using quotes to notate a name or title of something, does punctuation go inside or outside the quote?

For example:

This approach is at the center of Harvard's research on "Learning in Action", which demonstrated that the best...

OR is it

This approach is at the center of Harvard's research on "Learning in Action," which demonstrated that the best...

I'm typing in a restricted template that doesn't allow for underlining or italics, so solely curious about where the comma goes.

marked as duplicate by tchrist Jan 3 at 19:51

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • This has nothing to do with grammaticality. – tchrist Jan 3 at 19:50
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It's "Learning in Action", because the comma only goes inside the quotation marks if the comma is part of the title or speech. Quote marks simply outline the name or quote of something/somebody. Any other text goes outside.

From The Punctuation Guide:

Quotation marks and adjacent punctuation

Though not necessarily logical, the American rules for multiple punctuations with quotation marks are firmly established. (See here for a brief explanation of the British style.)

Commas and periods that are part of the overall sentence go inside the quotation marks, even though they aren’t part of the original quotation.

Correct: “The best investments today,” according to Smith, “are commodities and emerging-market stocks.”

Incorrect: “The best investments today”, according to Smith, “are commodities and emerging-market stocks”.

(The original text quoted above is as follows: “The best investments today are commodities and emerging-market stocks, not domestic stocks and bonds.”)

Unless they are part of the original quotation, all marks other than commas or periods are placed outside the quotation marks.

Correct:

She provides a thorough list of problems in her most recent article, “Misery in Paradise”; she doesn’t provide a solution.

Incorrect:

She provides a thorough list of problems in her most recent article, “Misery in Paradise;” she doesn’t provide a solution.

Correct:

Wasn’t it Dickens who wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”?

Incorrect:

Wasn’t it Dickens who wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times?”

  • Probably worth highlighting (I know that it's mentioned) that this is the convention in the United States and that British English differs (the periods and commas go outside the quotation marks, but they use single quotation marks, so it doesn't look as bad) – Juhasz Jan 3 at 19:18
  • @Juhasz I don’t understand what you mean by saying “so it doesn’t look as bad”. As more and more people become computer literate and thus accustomed to quoted strings in lists like ("fee and fie", "foo", "fum"), you’re going to see the so-called American-style non-logical quoting falling more and more to the wayside. – tchrist Jan 3 at 19:48
  • @Lordology Please do not answer duplicates. Flag them as dupes, and if you have your own answer to the original, please place it there. – tchrist Jan 3 at 19:51
  • @tchrist when I answered it, I had no idea. – Lordology Jan 3 at 19:52
  • @tchrist "[Strunk and White]...noted that '[t]ypographical usage dictates the comma be inside the marks, though logically it seems not to belong there.' In other words, in the predigital era, when fonts were fixed-width, setting a period or comma outside the quotation marks would have created an unsightly gap. But Robert Bringhurst, writing in the era of digital fonts, maintains that it generally 'makes no typographic difference' if quotation marks 'follow commas and periods or precede them.' Digital typographers can close up the gap." style.mla.org/punctuation-and-quotation-marks – Juhasz Jan 3 at 19:55

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