How to Introduce a Quote Tips on Using Quotations

This is more than simply changing a couple of words in a sentence. One easy and effective way to paraphrase is to read the passage you are referencing, close the book or put away the article, and try to summarize the ideas yourself. In history classes, you will often find yourself working with the words and ideas of others. It is therefore very important to learn to paraphrase accurately and cite your sources according to a recognized manual of style.

introducing a quote examples

This handout will help you decide when and how to quote like a pro. When using a colon to introduce a quotation, the text before the colon must be a full sentence. The text after the colon, however, can be just a few words. Signal phrases provide a seamless transition from the writer’s thoughts to a source’s thoughts and can provide details about the source that highlight credibility and expertise. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. If you’re struggling to explain the quote or link it back to your argument, then it’s likely not a good idea to include it in your essay. Cite the author’s last name and page number in parentheses to cite in MLA.

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Indent the block quote by .5 inches (1.3 cm) from the left margin. Make sure your entire quote is indented so that your reader will recognize that it’s set off from the rest of the text. You still need to use quotation marks even if you’re only quoting a few words. Use an introductory or explanatory phrase, but not a complete sentence, separated from the quotation with a comma.

introducing a quote examples

Another option for adding an introductory clause to a quotation is to include a comma. With this approach, you will often begin with a citation or a reference to the authors, and you will then include your verb and a comma. The quotation should include a signal phrase, bridge in essay example or introductory statement, which tells the reader whom or what you are citing. The phrase may indicate the author’s name or credentials, the title of the source, and/or helpful background information. There may be times when you need to quote long passages.

Use a descriptive verb, followed by a comma to introduce a critic’s words

Then, incorporate that quote into your essay, and make sure you properly cite it based on the style guide you’re using. And if quotation marks did appear around all these phrases, this paragraph would be so cluttered that it would be unreadable.

You can use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation. On your own sheet of paper, correct the following sentences by adding semicolons or colons where needed.

How to Introduce a Quote?

While the paraphrased passage does not use Tonkin’s exact words to express an opinion about literacy, it still draws its IDEAS from her book. With this in mind you must always insert a footnote or parenthetical citation after such a passage to fully credit the source of your information. Do not use quotation marks for common nicknames, bits of humor, technical terms that readers are likely to know, and trite or well-known expressions. Use quotation marks around titles of short or minor works, such as songs, short stories, essays, short poems, and one-act plays. In addition, the introduction, also called an attribution, can come after the quotation.

  • Apart from the standard words like “believes” or “notes,” you can use dozens of synonyms as quote starters.
  • When you use a paraphrase, you still need to provide commentary that links the paraphrased material back to your thesis and ideas.
  • I hope you will get an A+ in your next academic paper.

All other punctuation marks—semicolons, colons, question marks, and exclamation points—go outside a closing quotation mark, except when they are part of the quoted material . Use quotation marks anytime you include someone else’s words in your own paper. This lets the reader know that you have borrowed from another writer. As long as you use quotation marks and cite the source where you got the material, you can use someone else’s ideas without plagiarizing.

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In general, use direct quotations only if you have a good reason. And in the case of both general and field-specific common knowledge, if you use the exact words of the reference source, you must use quotation marks and credit the source. Less commonly, single quotation marks are used in place of parentheses, in which case the translation is not set off with commas. Also, any punctuation otherwise required by the structure of the sentence is placed outside the single quotation marks.

introducing a quote examples

It is important to note that Tonkin’s words are quoted EXACTLY as they appear in her book. As before, a parenthetical or footnote citation should follow this passage to acknowledge your source of information. The following examples provide a basic sense of what instructors mean when they talk about paraphrasing and quoting sources. Remember always to check with your instructors about their requirements before beginning a paper.

ICE: Introduce, Cite, and Explain Your Evidence

When you formally introduce a quote, such as with a complete sentence, precede it with a colon . According to the MLA Handbook, if you must omit a word, phrase, or sentence from a quoted passage, mark the omission with ellipsis points (. . . ), or three spaced periods (80-81). This article discusses rules for quoting both prose and quotes within quotes. It also addresses a few special issues, like what to do if there is a spelling error in a quote, as well as how to handle punctuation. Consult the MLA Handbook to review additional topics and learn more.

Choose an appropriate verb to create your own signal phrase that will make your source’s position clear . Your block quote will use the same spacing as the rest of your paper, introducing a quote examples which will likely be double-spacing. When you use a paraphrase, you still need to provide commentary that links the paraphrased material back to your thesis and ideas.


Thus, her words deserve more exposure than a paraphrase could provide. When writing an argumentative essay, you would typically research a topic and adopt a certain… These rules oversimplify the use of punctuation with quotations, but applying just these few rules should help you use the correct punctuation about 90 percent of time. Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students. According to the author, children with ADD have a shorter attention span than children without ADD (author’s last name, year, p. ##).

  • Write a sentence in which you make the point you want to support or illustrate with the quotation.
  • Provide enough information about each source so that your audience could, with a little effort, find them.
  • Usually, you’ll only need block quotes for passages with more than 40 words .
  • Use quotation marks anytime you include someone else’s words in your own paper.

A direct quote will contain all the words of a speaker and you, therefore, write it as is. Don’t just plop in quotes and expect the reader to understand. Remember, quotations should be used to support your ideas and points. Do not use quotation marks at the beginning or end of the block quote—the indentation is what indicates that it’s a quote. Each style guide has its own requirements for listing your reference sources, so make sure you follow the style guide you’re using to format your paper.

Academic Guide For Students: How to Put a Quote in an Essay

You can use a lead-in naming the author or character, followed by a comma. Teach the elimination of but, so, and, because, at the beginning of a sentence.

When in doubt as to whether or not to quote, it is always safer to use a quotation. Not all scholars agree that the question of literacy in the United States is a simple matter. After all, she asserts, “he line is not so easy to draw between ‘able to read’ and ‘able to understand’.” Use commas to set off dialogue tags such as “she said” or “he explained.” Northern offers its 7,600 students an abundance of opportunities to explore their interests in and out of the classroom. From our brand new residence halls to our groundbreaking academic programs, we invite you to start your story at a school that can offer you the world — whatever you want that world to look like. This technique also applies to multiple phrases or clauses.

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