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Our goal: To learn how to integrate supporting quotes into your essays so that the quotes flow smoothly out of your own words. That way, the quotes are given a context, they become part of your argument, and they do not distract the reader from your ideas. Quotation “Dos”. Quotation “Don’ts”.

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Our goal: To learn how to integrate supporting quotes into your essays so that the quotes flow smoothly out of your own words. That way, the quotes are given a context, they become part of your argument, and they do not distract the reader from your ideas.

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Quotation “Dos”

Quotation “Don’ts”

Don’t “announce” quoted material.

This quote shows that…

This means that…

On page 43 it says …

In chapter five the author says…

  • Do try to work quoted material into your sentence.
  • At this moment, Whitney knew she was “destined for greatness”(54).
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Quotation “Dos”

Quotation “Don’ts”

Don’t make quoted material its own sentence. All quotes must have lead-ins.

Wrong: They were all shocked. “The windmill was in ruins”(71).  

At this moment, Whitney knew that “she was destined for greatness” (54).

  • Do eliminate irrelevant material using an ellipsis.
  • Original: The girl, the one with very brown hair, will be delivering the speech.
  • Modified: Matt declared that “The girl…will be delivering the speech”(447).
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Another example of using lead ins. Do not leave your quotes "naked." Make sure they are clearly connected to the argument you are trying to make.

NO: After June's humiliating piano recital, Waverly adds insult to injury. "You aren't a genius like me" (Tan 151).

YES: After June's humiliating piano recital, Waverly adds insult to injury by declaring, "You aren't a genius like me" (Tan 151).

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Quotation “Dos”

Quotation “Don’ts”

Don’t use quotes to merely repeat and support plot points or just for the sake of having a quote; the quotes should support an analysis.

NO: Piggy gives him the glasses to “light the fire”(17).

NO:Piggy showed that others were coming by saying, “There’s one!”(14).

  • Do use brackets to indicate changes you made to make the sentence clear.
  • Original: He demonstrated his anger toward the city council.
  • Modified: “[Mayor George Smith] demonstrated his anger toward the city council”(33).
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Quotation “Dos”

Quotation “Don’ts”

Don’t create fragments. Your quote, with its lead-in, must be a grammatically correct sentence.

Wrong: Terence says, “And I myself a sterling lad”(34).

Right: Terence calls himself “a sterling lad”(34).

  • Do use a comma for brief introductions.
  • As the animals recall, “there was a definite ruling against beds”(79).
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If there is a quote within the quote you are using, then use single quotation marks to set off the inner quote.

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When your quote is longer than four lines, "block it off" from the rest of your paragraph.

This is the quote analysis connecting the quote to your argument.

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Courtesy the Odegaard Writing & Research Center http://www.depts.washington.edu/owrc Adapted from UW Expository Writing Program handout. Quotation Sandwich image courtesy Edward Chang