Proper quotation format in essays

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When should I quote?

There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Quote Help Sample Short Quotes.

Essentials - Punctuation of Quotations - Hamilton College

Sample Modified Quotes. Sample Block Quotes. Method 1. Understand how to use dropped quotes. Dropped quotes are partial phrases taken from the middle of a piece of text.


Dropped quotes are comprised of only a few words and give no information about the speaker. These must always be introduced within a sentence, and cannot comprise a complete sentence on their own. Use a complete sentence to incorporate a dropped quote. Understand how to use full sentence quotes.

As the name implies, full sentence quotes are created by quoting complete sentences that take up less than 4 lines. Although these are complete sentences, they cannot be used as stand-alone sentences in your paper. Introduce them with an additional complete sentence or a signal phrase.

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Use a complete sentence to introduce a full sentence quote. Use a signal phrase to introduce your full sentence quote. Understand how to use block quotes. Block quotes are multiple sentences quoted directly from a source which take up more than 4 lines in your paper, or no more than 3 if you are quoting verse. Incorporate a block quote by adding a complete line space between your own content and the quote, and offsetting it by indenting the entire quote to the right a single time.

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Introduce your block quote with a colon. Ex: According to Wallace: add a line break here, and then indent the entire quote. Block quotes do not use quotation marks. Add the in-text parenthetical citation after the period at the end of the quote, though. Simply add another line break and begin writing along the left margin with no indent.

Understand how to use indirect quotes. Indirect quoting, or paraphrasing, is when you use a sentence from a source but change the wording slightly into your own words. Change the structure of the sentence by moving clauses around. Aim to change at least half of the sentence into a new structure, but also make sure that the grammar is correct and the meaning of the sentence is still clear. You can use a thesaurus to exchange words with synonyms.

Paraphrasing should only be done if you are certain that you understand the content you are copying. Keep the meaning in your head and create a new sentence to match. Method 2. Know where to place commas and periods. Know where to place exclamation points and question marks. If there is an exclamation point or question mark inside the quote you are using, keep it inside the quotation marks. If you are asking a question about a quoted question, use a single question mark inside the quotations.

Use ellipses correctly. When you use the majority of, but not all of a quote, or if you begin in the middle of a quote, it is necessary to insert ellipses. These show that some of the sentence is not included in your quote. Ellipses can be used in the center of a quote to leave out words that you feel add unnecessary length to the statement without adding value.

How to Use Quotation Marks

If you are only use a part of a quote from the center of a selection, it is just a partial or dropped quote. However, keep in mind that ellipses rarely come at the beginning of a quotation. Use brackets correctly. You can include brackets in a quote to give a few words, typically the name of a person or place that the quote is focusing on, to help the reader understand the context.

Use colons and semicolons correctly. If you are using a colon or semicolon after a quote, or there is a colon or semicolon at the end of your selection which you are quoting, place the punctuation mark outside of the quotation marks. Copy the quote exactly. If you are using a direct quote, it is imperative that you copy it word-for-word.

Quotation marks are usually employed or used when writing a wide range of works including articles, journals, books, compositions, manuscripts, play scripts among others. Quotation marks symbol resembles double or single commas with the opening quotation marks being inverted and the closing quotation marks being normal upright double or single commas.

Double quotation marks are used in writing when one wants to include quotes, which may be a whole paragraph, a sentence or even just a part of the sentence in his or her writing.

Double quotation marks may also be used when writing the titles of something such as a movie, book and an article among others. Double quotation marks may also be used to indicate emphasis to a word used in a sentence, irony, sarcasm or a situation when the writer does not buy to the meaning of the word in the context of a statement or sentence, for example:.

In this case the writer is sarcastic or ironical about the politicians caring and representing the people. In this case the writer does not mean that the students did some experimenting. Single quotation marks may be used to enclose or rather indicate a quote within a quote, for example:.

How to make a Quotation

Moreover, single quotation marks may be used to indicate words that have not been used for their intended meaning in a statement or sentence but only when the words have been used within another quote, double quotation marks would be used to enclose such words, for example,. From this statement, the use of cats and dogs is a metaphor and does not literally mean that it rained cats and dogs.


Even with the necessity of use of the quotation marks, whether single or double, it is important for any writer to use them moderately so that his or her work does not look heavy laden or without any flow of ideas which will make the reader lose interest in reading it. The information that you add always should be brief; reserve your major comments on the quotation's information to be placed after the quotation ends.

Show any added information by placing that added information in square brackets within the quote. If your computer or typewriter does not have square bracket keys, then draw the brackets in. You canNOT substitute parentheses for brackets, since they carry a different meaning. Parentheses indicate that the added information is part of the direct quotation itself and not your own. Holmes stated that "The chair on which the body was found was covered in a formerly yellow, now a brownish, blood-stained tabaret [upholstery with satin stripes]" 5.

In this case, you'd need to define "tabaret" for a general reading public. In this case, you'd need to clarify the person to whom the "he" refers. In this case, the writer provides a brief comment on the information to let the reader know that two major critics of Crane agree. If you decide to use a quotation that is longer than four lines, it is not put in quotation marks but rather indented from the left.

Once again remember that you will need to document or show the source of the quotations you use, so make sure that you have recorded all necessary information about the source.