My literature teacher was explaining punctuation and its relation to quotations when writing a paper according to MLA guidelines and I thought of a question that he didn’t have an answer to. I figured this Stack would be an appropriate place to try.
If I’m asking a question that ends in a short quotation, how would I punctuate the sentence if the quotation itself ends in a question mark.
To illustrate what I mean, consider the following.
Do you remember the time when Alex asked “how do you do?”?
I’m asking my own question (do you remember the time…?) but within my question, is a quotation that itself ends in a question mark.
What is the correct way to punctuate this sentence in MLA format? Is the way I wrote it correct? I couldn’t find anything on Purdue OWL or this stack, and my teacher is curious to hear back from me as well.
MLA’s style guide answers this directly:
Do not use two question marks. Use only the question mark contained in the quotation:
Which Shakespeare character asked, “Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand?”
But if the sentence includes a parenthetical citation, place the question mark after the citation:
How would you respond to the writer’s question, “How important is punctuation” (5)?
Source : Link , Question Author : Gnumbertester , Answer Author : JRodge01