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Quotes. How to use, punctuate, and integrate successfully. Reasons to quote:. To present and then disprove another author’s argument . To provide statistical evidence or testimony to validate a claim 3. If another person has said something better and more clearly than you can.

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How to use, punctuate, and integrate successfully

reasons to quote
Reasons to quote:
  • To present and then disprove another author’s argument.
  • To provide statistical evidence or testimony to validate a claim

3. If another person has said something better and more clearly than you can.

when to quote and when to paraphrase
When to quote and when to paraphrase:

1.Writers should use direct quotations only when the source’s words are particularly relevant and powerful.

2.A good policy is to use short quotes (no more than 25 words) and paraphrase longer sections.

  • Be sure to represent the author accurately and fairly.

3.When you paraphrase, you rephrase or summarize another person's words. In this case, you should not use quotation marks. However, indirect quotations still require proper citations, and you will be committing plagiarism if you fail to do so.

long quotes
Long Quotes

4. If you must use a longer quotation (longer than four lines in MLA), format correctly:

a. Place quotations in a free-standing block of text and.

b. Start the quotation on a new line, with the entire quote indented one inch from the left margin.

c. Omit quotation marks; maintain double-spacing.

d. Your parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.


Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration:

They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house. (Bronte 78)

potential problems
Potential problems:
  • If these apply to your quotes, you will want to remove or rework them:
    • If a reader can remove the quotes that have been “sprinkled” through the paper and still understand the essay, then the quotes are not an integral part of the essay and do not further the argument.
    • Do not begin or end a paragraph with a quote.
how often should you quote
How often should you quote?
  • For this paper I would like you to quote at least once in each body paragraph.
  • However, do not use too many quotes as I want to see original thought and material. A good rule of thumb is that for every quote you should have at least two sentences of your own thought.
introducing quotations
Introducing Quotations
  • Sentences containing or introducing quotes should be varied. Do not repeat the same sentence structure over and over.
    • In the words of researcher Herbert Terrace, “. . .” ( page).
    • As Flora Davis has noted, “. . .” (page).
    • The Gardners, Washoe’s trainers, point out that “ . . .” (page).
    • “ . . . ,” claims Noam Chomsky (page).
    • Terrance answers these objections with the following analysis: “ . . .” (page).
  • Make sure your introductory words are logical and grammatically correct:
    • WRONG: In Smith’s essay, he says “ . . .” In Smith’s essay, it says “ . . . ”, or Smith’s essay states “. .
    • CORRECT: In his essay, Smith states “. . . ”
introducing quotations1
Introducing Quotations
  • Try to use interesting verbs
some suggestions for how to introduce your quotations
Some suggestions for how to introduce your quotations:
  • X states, “__________.”
  • As the world-famous scholar X explains it, “________.”
  • As claimed by X, “______.”
  • In her article _______, X suggests that “_________.”
  • In X’s perspective, “___________.”
  • X concurs when she notes, “_______.”
explaining quotations
Explaining Quotations

•The main problem with using quotations happens when writers assume that the meaning of the quotation is obvious. Writers who make this mistake believe that their job is done when they’ve chosen a quotation and inserted it into their text.

•Some suggestions for how to explain your quotations:

• In other words, X asserts __________.

• In arguing this claim, X argues that __________.

• X is insisting that _________.

• What X really means is that ____________.

• The basis of X’s argument is that ___________.

documentation checklist
Documentation Checklist

o Does each direct quote have quotation marks around it?

o Is the author’s name included in the text or parenthetical citation for each paraphrase, or quotation?

o Is the page or paragraph number included in the parenthetical cite?

o Is the author referred to by his/her last name in the text?

o Is the end punctuation placed outside the parenthetical citations? (short quotes)

o Are long quotes used sparingly?

o Are long quotes blocked and punctuated correctly?

o Are quotations introduced well?

o Are quotes followed up with relevant commentary of your own?

o Is the sentence structure containing quotations varied?

o Have you avoided beginning or ending paragraphs with quotations?


• Quotations within a Quotation: Use single quotation marks to enclose quotes within another quotation.

Ex: The reporter told me, "When I interviewed the quarterback, he said they simply 'played a better game.'"

• Added Material: Sometimes you need to add information to clarify a pronoun whose antecedent is not in the quote. You can do this by inserting the material in brackets.

Ex: The quarterback told the reporter, "It's quite simple. They [the other team] played a better game, scored more points, and that's why we lost."

• Deleting Material: If a quote is long and you feel that parts of it are not necessary or can be paraphrased, you may omit parts of the quote. You use ellipses in the place of the missing words. Make sure that the words you remove do not alter the meaning of the quote.

Ex: Original Quote: The quarterback told the reporter, "It's quite simple. They played a better game, scored more points, and that's why we lost."

Omitted Material: The quarterback told the reporter, "It's quite simple. They . . . scored more points, and that's why we lost."

• Punctuation: Punctuation marks such as periods, commas, and semicolons should appear after the parenthetical citation. Question marks and exclamation points should appear within the quotation marks if they are a part of the quoted passage but after the parenthetical citation if they are a part of your text.

• Capitalization: Capitalize the first letter of a direct quote when the quoted material is a complete sentence. Do not use a capital letter when the quoted material is a fragment or only a piece of the original material's complete sentence.

Ex: Although Mr. Johnson has seen odd happenings on the farm, he stated that the spaceship "certainly takes the cake" when it comes to unexplainable activity.