Guide for Using Quotations
Always integrate quotations into your text
You should never "drop" a quotation
into your work without properly introducing it or integrating it into
your sentences. The quotation should never be a grammatically independent
sentence inside your text. You have three options for integrating quotations:
Introduce the quotation
with a formal statement or independent clause that ends with a
Kauflen stresses this important point about using quotes:
"You always want to set quotes up and never have them
sitting on their own in a text."
Introduce the quotations with a signal phrase followed by a
comma or signal verb followed by that
to Peter Elbow,
--As John Bath says,
commentator suggests that
--Williams confirms this idea when he argues,
Integrate the quotation fully into your sentences. The quotation
and your words must add up to a complete sentence.
know the boy has learned a painful lesson when he says that his eyes
"burned with anguish and anger" (Joyce 481).
integrating quotations means setting them up with either a sentence
or phrase ending with a comma or colon.
2. Always reference your quotations (or document your sources)
After you use a quotation, you
must provide a parenthetical citation or footnote that points your reader
to the source of the quotation.
to the latest research, "The last dinosaurs were birds"
(Spunk 45). --MLA Style
the period goes when including a parenthetical citation: ... birds"
The period goes at the end of the sentence--after the parenthetical
exactly; Signal any changes you make
quote exactly--the words you put into your paper should exactly match
the words found in the original source. If you do cut or add words, you
must signal to the reader that you have altered the original text.
a cut in the original text with an ellipse ...
to Franklin, "The National Parks have been left without adequate
funding due to recent budget cuts, [...] and
any text you add by putting that text in brackets [ ]
further adds, "It [Yosemite] is
the most neglected park."
4. Double indent
using a long quotation that takes up four or more lines in your
text, indent the quotation 1" from the left margin (equivalent to a double paragraph indention). These indentions
are sometimes called "block quotes."
is in the latter parts of the play that we see a change come over
Hamlet. In fact, we might pin point the change to have occurred while
he was at sea. In this account told by Hamlet to Horatio after he
has returned from his voyage, we see the evidence of this sea-change:
in my heart there was a kind of fighting
That would not let me sleep.
...let us know
Our discretion sometime serves us well
When our deep plots do pall, and that should learn us
There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will. (V,ii,4-5,7-11)
finally is moved into some indiscretion-- into some action. It is
at sea that Hamlet accepts his fate to act, though, typical of Hamlet,
this action is indirect since he causes the death of Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern and not Claudius.
The indention (two TABS in
a word processor) signals that the text is a quotation, so no quotation
marks are needed.
USING QUOTATIONS FOR MEANING
1. Give the
context of the quotation (where appropriate). Who said it? Where did it
come from and when?
2. Prepare the reader for the quote by telling what
the quotation will be demonstrating or proving.
In this account told by Hamlet to Horatio after he has returned from his
voyage, we see the evidence of this sea-change: then
comes the quotation
1. Make sure
the significance of the quotation is clear in relation to the main idea
of the paragraph and the essay. (See the example above for the long quote
as an example of software.)
Hamlet finally is moved into some indiscretion-- into some action.
Don't trust the quotation to speak for itself. You must tell the reader
what it means and what it proves in relation to your topic.
See also The
Sandwich Principle for Using Quotes | See examples of "sandwiching quotes" properly in "The Art of Integrating and Setting Up Quotes"