For example, given the following sentence, is it proper to set the enclosed question in quotation marks?
The first question to ask is, “should quotation marks be used?”
Any additional comments about the structure of the example sentence above would be appreciated.
It isn’t needed in this case.
Quotation marks are used when you’re quoting somebody (in the direct speech of course. If you’re using indirect, then you don’t use quotation marks).
So if you were to say:
He asked me, “Are quotation marks needed?”
you would use them. 🙂