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which one should we use? comma or semicolon? and should we capitalize the first letter of the quotation?

Six teachers emphasized promoting students’ autonomy by stating**:** “My job is to make my students interested in English and stress its usefulness in their academic endeavor and guide and recommend the best ways to achieve their potentials."

Six teachers emphasized promoting students’ autonomy by stating**,** “my job is to make my students interested in English and stress its usefulness in their academic endeavor and guide and recommend the best ways to achieve their potentials."

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Before a quote (and after if necessary), you use a comma, not a colon or a semicolon.

If you're quoting a full sentence, you capitalize the first letter of the sentence being quoted.

If you're only quoting part of a sentence, and not the full sentence, the quote is not capitalized.

Six teachers emphasized promoting students’ autonomy by stating, "My job is to make my students interested in English and stress its usefulness in their academic endeavor and guide and recommend the best ways to achieve their potentials."

A teacher emphasized that she believed it was her job, "to make my students interested in English and stress its usefulness in their academic endeavor."

Source: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/punctuation/quotation_marks/index.html

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