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Using Quotations Properly
Transcript of Using Quotations Properly
E You should never have a quotation standing alone as a complete sentence, or, worse yet, as an incomplete sentence, in your writing. There are at least four ways to integrate quotations. 1. Introduce the quotation with a complete sentence and a colon. 2. Use an introductory or explanatory phrase, but not a complete sentence, separated from the quotation with a comma. According to Thoreau, "We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us." 3. Make the quotation a part of your own sentence without any punctuation between your own words and the words you are quoting. Example A Quick Guide Integrating Quotations into Sentences Quotations are like helium balloons. We all know what happens when you let go of a helium balloon: it flies away.
Quotations, like balloons, need to be attached to something.
In your case, it should be your own words and explanations.
The best way to tie down a quotation is by using the I.C.E. Method. Introduce Cite Explain Who said it?
When? Where? Why? How? APA or MLA format
Author, page number, etc. What does this quote show? Why is it important? Thoreau ends his essay with a metaphor: "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in." This is an easy rule to remember: if you use a complete sentence to introduce a quotation, you need a colon after the sentence. Be careful not to confuse a colon (:) with a semicolon (;). Grammar Reminder Example You should use a comma to separate your own words from the quotation when your introductory or explanatory phrase ends with a verb such as "says," "said," "thinks," "believes," "pondered," "recalls," "questions," and "asks" (and many more). You should also use a comma when you introduce a quotation with a phrase such as "According to Thoreau." Grammar Reminder According to Thoreau, people are too often "thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito's wing that falls on the rails." Example: Grammar Reminder Remember that the sentence needs to flow perfectly and sound correct if you integrate it the quotation like this... 4. Use short quotations--only a few words--as part of your own sentence. Example Although Thoreau "drink[s] at" the stream of Time, he can "detect how shallow it is." Grammar Reminder If you edit the original quotation so that it sounds correct, indicate the changes in between brackets [ ] Within the world of college essays, quotations rarely "prove" anything. What good quotations usually do is support a particular interpretation. Yet, one of the most frequent mistakes college writers make is to say that a particular quotation "proves" some claim. Here are some verbs that persuade better than prove: suggests
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