AbstractIn the automatic summarisation of written texts, direct speech is usually deemed unsuitable for inclusion in important sentences. This is due to the fact that humans do not usually include such quotations when they create summaries. In this paper, we argue that despite generally negative attitudes, direct speech can be useful for summarisation and ignoring it can result in the omission of important and relevant information. We present an analysis of a corpus of annotated newswire texts in which a substantial amount of speech is marked by different annotators, and describe when and why direct speech can be included in summaries. In an attempt to make direct speech more appropriate for summaries, we also describe rules currently being developed to transform it into a more summary-acceptable format.