Blending quotations
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Blending Quotations ________________________________________________________________. The Basics. Always integrate quotations into your text. NEVER just “ drop ” a quotation in your writing!

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Blending Quotations ________________________________________________________________

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Blending quotations

Blending Quotations________________________________________________________________


The basics

The Basics

  • Always integrate quotations into your text.

  • NEVER just “drop” a quotation in your writing!

  • In other words, don’t let a piece of textual evidence stand alone as its own sentence (unless it’s multiple sentences long).

  • Use your own words to introduce a quotation.


How to improve blending quotes

How To Improve Blending Quotes

  • Use only the most effective part of the quotation.

  • Maintain a smooth sentence style.

  • Use ellipses… if you leave parts out.

  • Use brackets [ ] if you add or change a word.

  • Use signal phrases which precede the quote.


Example from tkam

Example from TKAM

  • Original example:

    • Mr. Radley is an unattractive man. “He was a thin leathery man with colorless eyes, so colorless they did not reflect light” (Lee 32).

  • Bad example!

  • Why?

  • The quote is just “dropped in.”


Example from tkam cont d

Example from TKAM (cont’d)

  • Original — unblended:

    • Mr. Radley is an unattractive man. “He was a thin leathery man with colorless eyes, so colorless they did not reflect light” (Lee 32).

  • Smoother integration — well blended:

    • Mr. Radley is unattractive, a “thin leathery man with colorless eyes” (Lee 32).

    • The part about his eyes is omitted.

  • Even smoother integration:

    • Harper Lee describes Mr. Radley as “a thin leathery man with colorless eyes…[that] did not reflect light” (32).


Another example

Another Example

  • Original:

    • Hemingway hints of a storm on the move. “The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grain” (Hemingway 179).

  • Smoothly blended into sentence:

    • A storm approaches the town as “the shadow of a cloud [moves] across the field of grain” (Hemingway 179) and Maggie turns back to the forest.


Using signal phrases

Using Signal Phrases

  • Ineffective:

    • T.S. Eliot, in his “Talent and the Individual,” uses gender-specific language. “No poet, no artist of any art, has his meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists” (Eliot 29).

  • Why ineffective? the quote is “dropped in.”


Using signal phrases1

Using Signal Phrases

  • Use signal phrases to blend the quote into the sentence, making it read smoothly:

    • T.S. Eliot, in his “Talent and the Individual,” uses gender-specific language. He argues, for instance, that“no poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. [Indeed,] his significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists” (Eliot 29).

  • See how the signal phrase makes the sentence read smoother?


Student examples from night timed writing

Student Examples from Night Timed Writing

  • Original:

    • Now, as Rabbi Eliahu searches hopelessly for a son of his whom had abandoned him, Elie renounces his faith completely. “And in spite of myself, a prayer formed inside of me, a prayer to this God in whom I no longer believed” (Wiesel 91).

  • A suggested revision:

    • Now, as Rabbi Eliahu searches hopelessly for a son of his whom had abandoned him, “a prayer formed inside [Elie]…to this God…[he] no longer believed” and he renounces his faith completely (Wiesel 91).


Your turn

Your Turn… 


More student examples

More Student Examples

  • Original:

    • Night also represents the fire that killed so many people. “And just as the train stopped, this time we saw flames rising from a chimney into a dark sky” (Wiesel 28).

  • A suggested revision:

    • Wiesel suggests night represents death by fire as he and other passengers witness “flames rising from a chimney into a dark sky” which are no doubt burning people alive (Wiesel 28).


More student examples1

More Student Examples

  • Original:

    • You start to see this fairly early in the book. “What had happened to me? My father had been struck in front of me, and I had not even blinked” (Wiesel 39).

  • A suggested revision:

    • Elie is disgusted with himself when his father is beaten right “in front of [him], and [he] had not even blinked” (Wiesel 39). He begins to question his own values as his concern for his father appears to decrease.


More student examples2

More Student Examples

  • Original:

    • Throughout the book, most of the killings or horrible events, including Elie, occur during the night. “They must have taken him away before daybreak and taken him to the crematorium” (Wiesel 112).

  • A suggested revision:

    • Throughout the book, many horrible events including the killings occur during the night. Indeed, Wiesel tells of a man “taken…away before daybreak… to the crematorium” (Wiesel 112).


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