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Incorporating Quotes

How to properly use quoted material in your writing.

Steve Edgehouse

on 15 October 2018

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Transcript of Incorporating Quotes

Quotes can help you achieve
various writing goals, including:
defining a concept;
supporting your argument (of course);
summarizing a complex idea;
expressing an author’s opinion;
and educating readers on your topic.
Choose quotes that:
have relevance to your essay,
are related to the section it appears in,
aren’t too fluffy or too long,
use memorable language, and
are concise and to the point.
(The main voice in your writing always needs to be your own.)
Only use quotes from authors that:
are credible, trustworthy, reliable,
are experts in your essay’s topic,
contribute meaningfully to your essay,
that give authority to your work.
you can accurately cite, and
(It should be an honor to appear in your essay. Be picky!)
Quotes can be placed
anywhere in your essay:
(they help “set the table” for your essay),
(they provide support,
give you ideas to respond to/analyze,
relay to readers useful information,
etc.), and
(they can provide depth to your essay as it ends).
Quotes can be utilized whenever
they can help your essay:
use quotes that bring
liveliness to your essay;
choose quotes that are
to the point;
and that serve a clear purpose in your essay.
How Do You Incorporate Quotes?
Be sure you correctly quote,
word for word, your source.
Don’t copy and paste quotes.
Type them up yourself.
Type them carefully!
Massage your quote into your essay
in a way that flows nicely, smoothly.
Freestanding quotations
and should be avoided
at all costs.
Instead, you need to give your readers helpful information

1. before,
2. during, and
3. after

every quote you utilize.
Before the Quote:
Before your open quote (“)
always begin a quote with a helpful introductory phrase
(also called a tag or signal phrase):
Indicate who your author is
first and last name (MLA)
first initial and last name (APA)
share your author’s credentials if it
will help establish his/her expertise
(his/her occupation,
where the work was published).
Here's an okay way to introduce a quote:

According to New York Times reporter Marcus Winters, “A good teacher can mean as much as a grade level’s worth of learning in a school year. Getting rid of bad teachers is by far the most effective education reform we could hope to enact.”
But verbs of attribution are even better:
Make sure your verbs are in
present tense.
(They usually end in -s.)
Your essay is a living thing.
Use verbs that are descriptive,
vivid, and appropriate to
the quote’s purpose:
for when a quote is supplying straightforward information;
for when an author is taking a debatable stance;
for when an author, well, asks a question;
and lots more.
AVOID “says” or "talks" unless you’ve located some sort of magical talking article.
You’ll also need punctuation before your quote.
a comma (,) is the most common punctuation,
but colons (:) can also be effective. Some people use "that" as well. Vary it!
During the Quote:
Be sure you’re correctly
quoting your quote,
word for word.
Use a close quote (”) once your quote ends.
Use ellipsis marks (…) when you want to
remove unnecessary words from a quote.
In an essay on urban legends, Jan Harold Brunvand notes that “some individuals make a point of learning every recent rumor or tale… and in a short time a lively exchange of details occurs“ (78).
Use brackets ([ ]) to add or substitute words that will eliminate confusion.
Jan Brunvand, in an essay on urban legends, states: “some individuals [who retell urban legends] make a point of learning every rumor or tale” (78).
After the Quote:
Always be sure to provide a correct citation for each quote.
Quotes from a textbook or periodical with actual pages and therefore page numbers should indicate the page number the quote appears on. Check Writers' FAQ for MLA and APA help.
The author’s name is not necessary in your post-quote citation if you’ve properly introduced him/her in-text.
(Always introduce your author.)
MLA: Chuck Klosterman, columnist for Esquire, asserts, “You can't design populism—and if you try, you'll inevitably construct the opposite” (27).
If your source is retrieved electronically, then there won't be page numbers.
Just end the quote and move on.
New York Times music critic Sanneh (2012) reports that “rappers have grown increasingly canny at using mixtapes to promote themselves.”
At the end of the day, and at least for our class, quote integration involves three separate but important steps that, if done correctly, makes for a seamless reading experience:
1. Helpful author intro and verb of attribution
2. Accurately quoted quote
3. Correct citation
Off the top of your head, jot down three verbs of attribution.
claim paragraphs
introductory portion
Full transcript