Asked • 06/05/19

What punctuation to use when a character is writing something down?

I'm trying my hand at editing a friends work, and I've got a little stumped.They wrote the following:> 'Thinks he's the smartest one in the room,' Henry wrote on a piece of paper.(For context, when they write dialogue they use double quotation marks.)So, on a piece of paper, Henry has written the words: "Thinks he's the smartest one in the room."My initial thought was that the single quotation marks are incorrect. (Though I might be wrong about this.) I can only think of two alternative ways to go, and I don't know which of these three options would be correct:1. Single quotation marks (as my friend has): > 'Thinks he's the smartest one in the room,' Henry wrote on a piece of paper.2. Double quotation marks: > "Thinks he's the smartest one in the room," Henry wrote on a piece of paper.3. Italics: > _Thinks he's the smartest one in the room_, Henry wrote on a piece of paper.Generally, I'd think to use double quotation marks for quoting words. However, I feel that that would make it look and read too much like dialogue--especially because there's a conversation happening around the line.A reason I'm leaning towards the italics is because, even though "Thinks he's the smartest one in the room" is a quote, it's also a thought that Henry's having. If it was "Henry thought" instead of "Henry wrote" then I'd know to use italics.So, am I to use single quotes, double quotes, or italics in this situation? Or something else? Or is it just a matter of style?

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