Ask PTB – Emphasis Added

A reader recently asked, “I am writing a lengthy article that contains many quotes. From time to time, I will bold a portion of the quote for the sake of emphasis. I normally include an ’emphasis added’ in the citation to the source of the quote. Instead of adding ’emphasis added’ so many times throughout the article, would it be permissible to state upfront in a footnote or after the use of the first ’emphasis added’ that throughout the entire article, whenever the reader sees a portion of a quote bolded, it is my ’emphasis added’? That way I will not have to clutter the reading with so many ’emphasis added.’

Everything I find says that the phrase “emphasis added” should appear after the citation according to The Bluebook and immediately after the italicized words or in parentheses immediately after the quotation according to the Gregg Reference Manual and similar language in the APA and CMOS materials.

HOWEVER, I can see that adding that every single time would make an article very difficult to read, so unless it is a legal document or article subject to The Bluebook, I personally would appreciate the addition of an explanation of the bolding structure in quotations in one place (and probably at the first instance it is used) instead of every single time. While I can’t back that up with reference manual proof, for the readers’ sakes, I think it makes sense.

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