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Incorporating Quotations. How to seamlessly incorporate the words of others into writing. Why quote?. The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) notes the following reasons for using quotations: Provide support for claims or add credibility to your writing

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incorporating quotations

Incorporating Quotations

How to seamlessly incorporate the words of others into writing

why quote
Why quote?
  • The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) notes the following reasons for using quotations:
    • Provide support for claims or add credibility to your writing
    • Refer to work that leads up to the work you are now doing
    • Give examples of several points of view on a subject
    • Call attention to a position that you wish to agree or disagree with
    • Highlight a particularly striking phrase, sentence, or passage by quoting the original
    • Distance yourself from the original by quoting it in order to cue readers that the words are not your own
    • Expand the breadth or depth of your writing
sentence stems for quoting sentences
Sentence Stems for Quoting Sentences

X insists “ _____” (pg.).

As the prominent philosopher X puts it, “______” (pg.).

According to X, “________” (pg).

In her book Book Title, X maintains that “______” (pg.).

X complicates matters further when she writes that “_____” (pg.)

word to use other than the word says
Word to use other than the word “says”








Demonstrates emphasizes


Observes questions

Refutes the claim

Reminds us




signal phrases
Signal phrases
  • When you introduce a quotation, especially the first time you use a source, you should use a signal phrase with that quotation:
    • X states that “______” (pg.)
    • According to X, “______” (pg.).
    • In her book, ______, X maintains that “______” (pg.).
    • X agrees when she writes that “______” (pg.).
  • When you use a signal phrase which names the author, you DO NOT repeat that name in the MLA citation. You use ONLY the page number. If it is a source (say an online database) which does not USE page numbers, then NOTHING goes in parentheses.
explaining quotations
Explaining quotations
  • Any time you use a quotation, you MUST explain what it adds to your argument.
  • You can use some of the follow sentence stems:
    • Basically, X is saying ______.
    • In other words, X believes ______.
    • In making this comment, X argues that ______.
    • X insists that ______.
    • X’s point is that ______.
    • What X really means by this is ______.
    • Essentially, _______ is true.
    • In short, then, ______.
imbedding quotations
Imbedding quotations
  • It is ESSENTIAL to use short, imbedded quotations rather than citing whole sentences in your writing.
    • Ex. His mother complains that he “had chosen an evil road, a road which led him further and further from the ways of men” (Kazantzakis 32), but truthfully, he is running away from God as his uncle the rabbi points out that he “‘isn’t being tormented by a devil; it’s not a devil, it’s God’” (Kazantzakis 29).
    • In this sentence, two quotes are incorporated into one sentence by piecing parts of sentences into your own words. Keep in mind that you MUST create a sentence that has a subject, verb, and expresses a complete thought.
quote sandwich
Quote Sandwich
  • Top of the sandwich—the top piece of bread.
    • The toplayer should create a transition between the information you have been just writing about and the quote to create a natural “flow.” It ought to include some preliminary explanation of the topic and provide a CONTEXT for the quote (When, possibly where, and under what circumstances the quotation was spoken or written.).  It should also include the authority giving the quote and possibly the source.
  • Middle of the sandwich—the meat
    • Put the quote in the middle.  Make sure it is integrated grammatically and structurally with the surrounding text.
  • Bottom of the sandwich—the bottom piece of bread
    • Following the quote, give an interpretation of the meaning or its implication.  Explain how it supports your argument or the point you are making in the paragraph
quote sandwich1
Quote Sandwich
  • Suppose your paper is about the significance of World War II. You want to use this quote by John Doe, a noted historian: “At the beginning of World War II, almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly.” You might create a “sandwich” like this:
    • (Layer 1) When the United States entered the war after the horrific bombing of Pearl Harbor, the mood in America was somber but optimistic. (Layer 2) Historian John Doe states that at this time “almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly” (223). (Layer 3) This attitude reflects the confidence the country had in its commitment to the war effort and in the ability of its military forces.
quote sandwich2
Quote Sandwich
  • Identify the part of this quote sandwich:
    • When Franklin Roosevelt gave his inaugural speech on March 4, 1933, he addressed a nation weakened and demoralized by economic depression. Attempting to remind all Americans of their innate strength, he declared, “‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’” (qtd. in Barron 254). With that message of hope and confidence, the new president set the stage for his administration and helped restore the faith of the American people in their government.
quote sandwich3
Quote Sandwich
  • You are writing a paper on symbols in Lord of the Flies. You want to use this quote. You CANNOT use the entire sentence. You can only use part! Create a quote sandwich using part of the following quotation.
    • “None of the boys could have found good reason for this; what intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy while the most obvious leader was Jack. But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out; there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch” (Golding 21).
quote sandwich4
Quote Sandwich
  • Possible answer:
    • Golding sets up the symbolism of the conch from the very beginning of the novel when Piggy and Ralph first find and use the shell. Golding asserts the shell’s power through Ralph’s election when he is chosen due to “his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch” (21). Ralph, like most elected officials, is good looking, but the true key to his authority and to his election is the conch, the island’s symbol of power and authority.