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Would it be proper for written AmE? After making some points in my essay I need to state that what I've just said probably engenders a question.

This (probably) brings up/arises/elicits a question, "Why would he want to study chemistry now if he could not bear it as a child?

or

This (probably) brings up/arises/elicits a question: why would he want to study chemistry now if he could not bear it as a child?

I'd appreciate your help.

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    Unless you are referencing a word or phrase as a word or phrase, quotation marks indicate something spoken. You wouldn't indicate actual speech here because nobody is speaking. While this is still a matter of style, my strong personal preference would be for the second formatting—but I would use a capital W after the colon. Or you can use a period and start a second sentence with the question. Or you can say This leads me to ask why... and finish with a period rather than a question mark. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jul 16 at 16:06
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    I agree with Jason here, although I would also be tempted to italicise the phrase to make it clear. Also, with the start of your sentence, I would just write "This elicits the question..." – Bee Jul 16 at 16:11
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    'arises' is wrong; 'raises' would be OK. Some people would say 'begs the question' but a lot of us think that is not what question begging is. – JeremyC Jul 16 at 21:39
  • The first example has open quotes but no close quotes. – Davo Jul 19 at 11:59
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Can you? Yes. Should you? Probably not -- unless there is a good reason to do so.

Quoted phrases in an essay are primarily used to cite the exact text of an external source. If you are only citing your own opinion, it can be confusing to set the text apart with quotes, because the reader may naturally assume that you are referring to someone else's words, and expect you to give proper credit.

The point is that you always want the reader to think about what you have written, and only about how you have written it if that is your intention. I would keep it simple:

This naturally raises the question: Why set words and phrases apart with quotes when they only represent one's own personal opinion?

That being said, it depends on what formatting options you are allowed to use. Consider this forum, in which you have a number of options other than quotes, including italic, bold, bold italic, code block,

blockquote,

subscript, superscript, and probably many more I don't know about. Because you have options, you don't always have to use quotes to set your text apart. However, in a formal written essay, your options be more restricted. If that is the case, it's fine to use quotes to set apart any text that you want to keep as a cohesive block:

The question you should ask is not, "Why set words and phrases apart with quotes when they only represent one's own personal opinion?" but rather, "Will the use of quotes seem natural, or awkward?"

In the end it does come down to personal choice, but choice based on convention.

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