I'm helping a student with a sentence that needs to quote the following two phrases said by a character:
Man the boundaries! Protect us!
The sentence we are trying to write is:
"Man the boundaries! Protect us!", she ordered the guards.
The problem lies in the comma just after the end-quotation mark. According to MLA, should it be after the quotes, before the quotes, or omitted altogether? I'm used to having the comma inside the quotation but the exclamation mark is already there and I couldn't find out how to resolve this particular case.
It occurred to me after reading the first answer given that I have left out some important information that should be noted. First, the quoted passage is from a fictional work, but the paper we are trying to write is an analysis of several fictional works, which makes it non-fiction. Second, citation is not given in this particular sentence because we have elected to merge all citations to the end of the paragraph, because all quotations within this paragraph are from the same source. Furthermore, this is an essay assigned by the instructor and must use MLA.