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For an essay I am using Mother Lois' quote on page 104 of the Washington Square Press paperback edition of Warrior's Don't Cry. In particular, the line goes like this:

"Look," Mother said, "there's a price to paid for freedom; we pay it now or we're in 'ball and chain' forever."

How the heck am I supposed to quote this in MLA format?

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See this question. –  Peter Shor Aug 20 '12 at 0:25
    
a price to paid, are you sure it doesn't have be? –  Noah Aug 20 '12 at 4:01
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In North America it should look like this: "'Look,' Mother said, 'there's a price to paid for freedom; we pay it now or we're in "ball and chain" forever.'"

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Preferably with (if you can do it) a little tiny space between the " and the '. –  Peter Shor Aug 20 '12 at 0:27
    
wait so although its 'ball and chain' in the original quote, it becomes double quoted? –  Just another dunce Aug 20 '12 at 0:31
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@Just - Nested quotes always alternate between double quotes and single quotes. Whether you start with double or single quotes depends on whether you're using US or UK/Aus/NZ style. –  Neil Fein Aug 20 '12 at 18:33
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There should be no space placed between double and single quotation marks, and yes, in this case, the quotation marks should reverse. Because, in North America, you have to start with double quotations, the quotes in the original passage will inevitably be altered. This is okay because you are not altering the content of the passage, simply the order of quotes for the sake of clarity. –  DAWR Aug 20 '12 at 18:36
    
"There should be no space placed between double and single quotation marks" - Does MLA specify this? –  Neil Fein Aug 20 '12 at 20:28
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