Pretty stumped on how this sentence should look. It just seems like too much punctuation. This is regarding topics for talks at a conference. Thanks!

Topics will include: “Tools of the Trade”, “Making Your Own Tools”, “Industrial Clay: Content and Use”, “How We Finish a Surface”, and “Using Industrial Clay to Cast Molds”.

  • Assuming you are in the US by the use of double quotation marks, style dictates that commas and periods go inside closing quotes. Otherwise, your sentence is fine as is: Topics will include: “Tools of the Trade,” “Making Your Own Tools,” “Industrial Clay: Content and Use,” “How We Finish a Surface,” and “Using Industrial Clay to Cast Molds.” The Chicago Manual of Style does recommend the use of quotation marks, not italics. – geekahedron May 14 at 15:25
  • There is no single right answer, as such questions are largely a matter of style. Adhere to the discipline of your editor, publication, or organization, or in the absence of a house style, adopt a style manual suitable to your audience and tastes and be consistent in its application. – choster May 14 at 17:08
  • What's bothering you? The commas? The quotation marks? The capitalization? – aparente001 May 15 at 5:14

You could convert it into a bulleted list.

Topics will include:

  • Tools of the Trade
  • Making Your Own Tools
  • Industrial Clay: Content and Use
  • How We Finish a Surface
  • Using Industrial Clay to Cast Molds

This might make subsequently enlarging on each topic a bit easier.


Concur with Peter. Not only does the list presentation lead to more extensibility, it seems easier to scan than the original.

If you want to keep as a sentence, how about dropping the quotes:

Topics will include: Tools of the Trade, Making Your Own Tools, Industrial Clay: Content and Use, How We Finish a Surface, and Using Industrial Clay to Cast Molds.

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