ESL Writing

Indention and Quotations

In this ESL writing lesson, students are introduced to the proper ways to use indentation and quotations in their writing.


Write Right!



  • When you start a new paragraph you need to indent – this means that you move about 5 spaces in.


---->Last week something really funny happened. It was Saturday morning, and my sister and I were getting ready to go to the grocery store with my mother. When we were almost ready, my mother suddenly stopped.

---->“Oh no!” she said.

---->“What?” I asked her.

---->“I can’t find my keys! Where are my keys?” she yelled.







  • Quotations are the words that people say. When you write quotations, you need to:

a) put quotation marks (“___”) around their words

b) put the punctuation (,.?!) inside the quotation marks

c) put a comma before the quotation if there is no other punctuation before it

d) start the quotation with a capital letter




Wrong: My mother said, “Let’s go”!

Right: My mother said, “Let’s go!”



Wrong: “Where is my cat? asked Meg.”

Right: “Where is my cat?” asked Meg.



Wrong: The teacher yelled “Sit down!”

Right: The teacher yelled, “Sit down!”



Wrong: John asked, “can I go home?”

Right: John asked, “Can I go home?”





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