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Suggested ways to introduce quotations

When you quote another writer's words, it's best to introduce or contextualize the quote. 

How to quote in an essay?

To introduce a quote in an essay, don't forget to include author's last name and page number (MLA) or author, date, and page number (APA) in your citation. Shown below are some possible ways to introduce quotations. The examples use MLA format.

1. Use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation.

  • The setting emphasizes deception: "Nothing is as it appears" (Smith 1).
  • Piercy ends the poem on an ironic note: "To every woman a happy ending" (25).

2. Begin a sentence with your own words, then complete it with quoted words.

Note that in the second example below, a slash with a space on either side ( / ) marks a line break in the original poem.

  • Hamlet's task is to avenge a "foul and most unnatural murder" (Shakespeare 925).
  • The speaker is mystified by her sleeping baby, whose "moth-breath / flickers among the flat pink roses" (Plath 17).

3. Use an introductory phrase naming the source, followed by a comma to quote a critic or researcher

Note that the first letter after the quotation marks should be upper case. According to MLA guidelines, if you change the case of a letter from the original, you must indicate this with brackets. APA format doesn't require brackets.

  • According to Smith, "[W]riting is fun" (215).
  • In Smith's words, " . . .
  • In Smith's view, " . . .

4. Use a descriptive verb, followed by a comma to introduce a critic's words

Avoid using says unless the words were originally spoken aloud, for instance, during an interview.

  • Smith states, "This book is terrific" (102).
  • Smith remarks, " . . .
  • Smith writes, " . . .
  • Smith notes, " . . .
  • Smith comments, " . . .
  • Smith observes, " . . .
  • Smith concludes, " . . .
  • Smith reports, " . . .
  • Smith maintains, " . . .
  • Smith adds, " . . .

5. Don't follow it with a comma if your lead-in to the quotation ends in that or as

The first letter of the quotation should be lower case.

  • Smith points out that "millions of students would like to burn this book" (53).
  • Smith emphasizes that " . . .
  • Smith interprets the hand washing in MacBeth as "an attempt at absolution" (106).
  • Smith describes the novel as "a celebration of human experience" (233).

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Writing Studio

Who said what introducing and contextualizing quotations.

In an effort to make our handouts more accessible, we have begun converting our PDF handouts to web pages. Download this page as a PDF: Introducing and Contextualizing Quotations Return to Writing Studio Handouts

Quotations (as well as paraphrases and summaries) play an essential role in academic writing, from literary analyses to scientific research papers; they are part of a writer’s ever-important evidence, or support, for his or her argument.

But oftentimes, writers aren’t sure how to incorporate quotes and thus shove them into paragraphs without much attention to logic or style.

For better quotations (and better writing), try these tips.

Identify Clearly Where the Borrowed Material Begins

The quotation should include a signal phrase, 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.

Sample signal phrases

  • According to (author/article)
  • Author + verb

Some key verbs for signal phrases

  • says, writes, accepts, criticizes, describes, disagrees, discusses, explains, identifies, insists, offers, points out, suggests, warns

Two Signal Phrase Examples

  • According to scholar Mary Poovey, Shelley’s narrative structure, which allows the creature to speak from a first-person point of view, forces the reader “to identify with [the creature’s] anguish and frustration” (259).
  • In an introduction to Frankenstein in 1831, the author Mary Shelley describes even her own creative act with a sense of horror: “The idea so possessed my mind, that a thrill of fear ran through me, and I wished to exchange that ghastly image of my fancy for the realities around” (172).

Create Context for the Material

Don’t just plop in quotes and expect the reader to understand. Explain, expand, or refute the quote. Remember, quotations should be used to support your ideas and points.

Here’s one simple, useful pattern: Introduce quote, give quote, explain quote.

“Introduce, Give, Explain” Example 1

[Introduce] Dorianne Laux’s “Girl in the Doorway” uses many metaphors to evoke a sense of change between the mother and daughter: [Give] “I stand at the dryer, listening/through the thin wall between us, her voice/rising and falling as she describes her new life” (3-5). [Explain] The “thin wall” is literal but also references their communication barrier; “rising and falling” is the sound of the girl’s voice but also a reference to her tumultuous preteen emotions.

“Introduce, Give, Explain” Example 2 (longer block quotation)

[Introduce] After watching the cottagers with pleasure, Frankenstein’s creature has a startling moment of revelation and horror when he sees his own reflection for the first time:

[Give] I had admired the perfect forms of my cottagers — their grace, beauty, and delicate complexions: but how was I terrified, when I viewed myself in a transparent pool! At first I started back, unable to believe that it was indeed I who was reflected in the mirror; and when I became fully convinced that I was in reality the monster that I am, I was filled with the bitterest sensations of despondence and mortification. Alas! I did not yet entirely know the fatal effects of this miserable deformity. (76)

[Explain] This literal moment of reflection is key in the creature’s growing reflection of self: In comparing himself with humans, he sees himself not just as different but as “the monster that I am.”

Additional Advice

Pay attention to proper format and grammar (See VU Writing Studio handout Quotation Basics: Grammar, Punctuation, and Style ), and always, always credit your source in order to avoid plagiarism.

Citation styles (e.g. MLA, APA, or Chicago) vary by discipline. Ask your professor if you are uncertain, and then check style guides for formats. (The above examples use MLA format.)

Last revised: 06/2008 | Adapted for web delivery: 06/2021

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How to Introduce Quotes in Academic Writing

How to Introduce Quotes in Academic Writing

3-minute read

  • 17th October 2019

It would be hard to write a good essay  without quoting sources. And as well as using quote marks , this means working quotations into your own writing. But how can you do this? In this post, we provide a few helpful tips on how to introduce quotes (short and long) in academic writing.

Introducing Short Quotations

The easiest way to quote a source is to work a short passage (sometimes just a single word) into your own sentence. For example:

The tomb was one of archaeology’s “most intriguing discoveries” (Andronicus, 1978, p. 55) and has fascinated researchers ever since.

Here, the only requirements placing the quoted text within quotation marks and making sure the quote follows grammatically from the surrounding text.

Quoting After a Colon

If you need to quote a source after a full sentence, introduce it with a colon:

On the basis of Philip II’s estimated date of death, Andronicus (1978) draws a conclusion :  “This, in all probability, must be his tomb” (p. 76).

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.

Quoting After a Comma

Alternatively, you can use a comma to introduce a quote. When doing this, the quoted text should follow from the preceding sentence (usually after a word like “says” or “argues”):

Andronicus (1978) says ,  “The weapons bore witness that the tomb could not have belonged to a commoner” (p. 73).

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However, when a quote follows the word “that,” no comma is needed:

Andronicus (1978) says  that “The weapons bore witness that the tomb could not have belonged to a commoner” (p. 73).

Block Quotes

Finally, for longer quotations, use a  block quote . These are also introduced with a colon, but they don’t have to follow a full sentence. Furthermore, quoted text should be indented and the block quote should begin on a new line. For example, we could introduce a block quote as follows:

Andronicus (1978) describes the fresco in the following terms:

The barely visible painting depicts three hunters with spears and five horsemen with dogs pursuing their prey, wild boars and lions. This and three other paintings discovered in the adjacent tomb are among the few extant examples of fourth-century BC Greek frescoes. (p. 72)

This emphasizes how important the discovery was for understanding…

Usually, you’ll only need block quotes for passages with more than 40 words (or four lines). The exact rules depend on the reference system you’re using, though, so be sure to check your style guide. And, when in doubt, you can always submit a document for proofreading . We can help make sure your quotations are fully integrated into the rest of your text.

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How much should I quote?

The focus of your essay should be on your understanding of the topic. If you include too much quotation in your essay, you will crowd out your own ideas. Consider quoting a passage from one of your sources if any of the following conditions holds:

  • The language of the passage is particularly elegant or powerful or memorable.
  • You wish to confirm the credibility of your argument by enlisting the support of an authority on your topic.
  • The passage is worthy of further analysis.
  • You wish to argue with someone else’s position in considerable detail.

Condition 3 is especially useful in essays for literature courses.

If an argument or a factual account from one of your sources is particularly relevant to your paper but does not deserve to be quoted verbatim, consider

  • paraphrasing the passage if you wish to convey the points in the passage at roughly the same level of detail as in the original
  • summarizing the relevant passage if you wish to sketch only the most essential points in the passage

Note that most scientific writing relies on summary rather than quotation. The same is true of writing in those social sciences—such as experimental psychology—that rely on controlled studies and emphasize quantifiable results. (Almost all of the examples in this handout follow the MLA system of citation, which is widely used in the humanities and in those social sciences with a less quantitative approach.)

Visit our handout on paraphrase and summary .

Why is it important to identify my sources?

Quotations come from somewhere, and your reader will want to know where. Don’t just parachute quotations into your essay without providing at least some indication of who your source is. Letting your reader know exactly which authorities you rely on is an advantage: it shows that you have done your research and that you are well acquainted with the literature on your topic.

In the following passage, the parenthetical reference to the author does not adequately identify the source:

The ancient Greeks never saw a need to justify wars that were waged outside the walls of the city state. “Hence we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war, together with the first notion that there are just and unjust wars” (Arendt 12). Yet the Roman conception of a just war differs sharply from more modern conceptions.

When you are making decisions about how to integrate quotations into your essay, you might imagine that you are reading the essay out loud to an audience. You would not read the parenthetical note. Without some sort of introduction, your audience would not even know that the statement about Roman antiquity was a quotation, let alone where the quotation came from.

How do I introduce a short quotation?

The following offers just one way of introducing the above quotation:

The ancient Greeks never saw a need to justify wars that were waged outside the walls of the city state. As Hannah Arendt points out in On Revolution , “we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war, together with the first notion that there are just and unjust wars” (12). Yet the Roman conception of a just war differs sharply from more modern conceptions.

Since the quotation is relatively short, the brief introduction works.

You could, however, strengthen your analysis by demonstrating the significance of the passage within your own argument. Introducing your quotation with a full sentence would help you assert greater control over the material:

The ancient Greeks never saw a need to justify wars that were waged outside the walls of the city state. In On Revolution , Hannah Arendt points to the role the Romans played in laying the foundation for later thinking about the ethics of waging war: “we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war, together with the first notion that there are just and unjust wars” (12). Yet the Roman conception of a just war differs sharply from more modern conceptions.

In these two examples, observe the forms of punctuation used to introduce the quotations. When you introduce a quotation with a full sentence, you should always place a colon at the end of the introductory sentence. When you introduce a quotation with an incomplete sentence, you usually place a comma after the introductory phrase. However, it has become grammatically acceptable to use a colon rather than a comma:

Arendt writes: “we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war . . .”

If you are blending the quotation into your own sentence using the conjuction that , do not use any punctuation at all:

Arendt writes that “we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war . . .”

If you are not sure whether to punctuate your introduction to a quotation, mentally remove the quotation marks, and ask yourself whether any punctuation is still required.

Finally, note that you can deviate from the common pattern of introduction followed by quotation. Weaving the phrases of others into your own prose offers a stylistically compelling way of maintaining control over your source material. Moreover, the technique of weaving can help you to produce a tighter argument. The following condenses twelve lines from Arendt’s essay to fewer than two:

What Arendt refers to as the “well-known realities of power politics” began to lose their moral legitimacy when the First World War unleashed “the horribly destructive” forces of warfare “under conditions of modern technology” (13).

What verbs and phrases can I use to introduce my quotations?

Familiarize yourself with the various verbs commonly used to introduce quotations. Here is a partial list:

argues writes points out concludes comments notes maintains suggests insists observes counters asserts states claims demonstrates says explains reveals

Each verb has its own nuance. Make sure that the nuance matches your specific aims in introducing the quotation.

There are other ways to begin quotations. Here are three common phrasings:

In the words of X , . . .

According to X , . . .

In X ‘s view, . . .

Vary the way you introduce quotations to avoid sounding monotonous. But never sacrifice precision of phrasing for the sake of variety.

Visit the U of T Writing Website’s page on verbs for referring to sources .

How do I introduce a long quotation?

If your quotation is lengthy, you should almost always introduce it with a full sentence that helps capture how it fits into your argument. If your quotation is longer than four lines, do not place it in quotation marks. Instead, set it off as a block quotation :

Although Dickens never shied away from the political controversies of his time, he never, in Orwell’s view, identified himself with any political program:

The truth is that Dickens’ criticism of society is almost exclusively moral. Hence his lack of any constructive suggestion anywhere in his work. He attacks the law, parliamentary government, the educational system and so forth, without ever clearly suggesting what he would put in their places. Of course it is not necessarily the business of a novelist, or a satirist, to make constructive suggestions, but the point is that Dickens’ attitude is at bottom not even destructive. . . . For in reality his target is not so much society as human nature. (416)

The full-sentence introduction to a block quotation helps demonstrate your grasp of the source material, and it adds analytical depth to your essay. But the introduction alone is not enough. Long quotations almost invariably need to be followed by extended analysis. Never allow the quotation to do your work for you. Usually you will want to keep the quotation and your analysis together in the same paragraph. Hence it is a good idea to avoid ending a paragraph with a quotation. But if your analysis is lengthy, you may want to break it into several paragraphs, beginning afresh after the quotation.

Once in a while you can reverse the pattern of quotation followed by analysis. A felicitously worded or an authoritative quotation can, on occasion, nicely clinch an argument.

There is some flexibility in the rule that block quotations are for passages of four lines or more: a shorter passage can be represented as a block quotation if it is important enough to stand on its own. For example, when you are quoting two or more lines of poetry , you will probably want to display the verse as it appears on the page:

In the opening heroic couplet of The Rape of the Lock , Pope establishes the unheroic nature of the poem’s subject matter:

What dire offense from amorous causes springs, What mighty contests rise from trivial things. (1-2)

If you choose to integrate verse into your own sentence, then use a slash surrounded by spaces to indicate line breaks:

In Eliot’s The Waste Land , the symbols of a mythic past lie buried in “A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, / And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief” (22-23).

How do I let my reader know I’ve altered my sources?

If you need to alter your quotations in any way, be sure to indicate just how you have done so. If you remove text, then replace the missing text with an ellipsis —three periods surrounded by spaces:

In The Mirror and the Lamp , Abrams comments that the “diversity of aesthetic theories . . . makes the task of the historian a very difficult one” (5).

If the omitted text occurs between sentences, then put a space after the period at the end of sentence, and follow that by an ellipsis. In all, there will be four periods. (See Orwell on Dickens, above.)

Many people overuse ellipses at the beginning and end of quotations. Use an ellipsis in either place only when your reader might otherwise mistake an incomplete sentence for a complete one:

Abraham Lincoln begins “The Gettysburg Address” with a reminder of the act upon which the United States was founded: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation . . .” (1).

Do not use an ellipsis if you are merely borrowing a phrase from the original:

In “The Gettysburg Address” Abraham Lincoln reminds his listeners of the principles that had inspired the creation of “a new nation” (1).

If you need to alter or replace text from the original, enclose the added text within square brackets . You may, for example, need to alter text to ensure that pronouns agree with their antecedents. Do not write,

Gertrude asks her son Hamlet to “cast your nighted colour off” (1.2.68).

Square brackets allow you to absorb Gertrude’s words into your own statement:

Gertrude asks her son Hamlet to “cast [his] nighted colour off” (1.2.68).

Alternatively, you can include Gertrude’s original phrasing in its entirety as long as the introduction to the quotation is not fully integrated with the quotation. The introduction can be an independent clause:

Gertrude implores her son Hamlet to stop mourning the death of his father: “cast your nighted colour off” (I.ii.68).

Or it can be an incomplete sentence:

Gertrude implores her son Hamlet, “cast your nighted colour off” (1.2.68).

How is punctuation affected by quotation?

You must preserve the punctuation of a quoted passage, or else you must enclose in square brackets any punctuation marks that are your own.

There is, however, one important exception to this rule. You are free to alter the punctuation just before a closing quotation mark. You may need to do so to ensure that your sentences are fully grammatical. Do not worry about how the original sentence needs to be punctuated before that quotation mark; think about how your sentence needs to be punctuated. Note, for example, that if you are using the MLA system of referencing, a sentence always ends after the parenthetical reference. Do not also include a period before closing the quotation mark, even if there is a period there in the original. For example, do not write,

According to Schama, Louis XVI remained calm during his trial: “The Terror had no power to frighten an old man of seventy-two.” (822).

The period before the closing quotation mark must go:

According to Schama, Louis XVI remained calm during his trial: “The Terror had no power to frighten an old man of seventy-two” (822).

However, if you are using footnotes, the period remains inside the quotation mark, while the footnote number goes outside:

According to Schama, Louis XVI remained calm during his trial: “The Terror had no power to frighten an old man of seventy-two.” 1

In Canada and the United States, commas and periods never go outside a quotation mark. They are always absorbed as part of the quotation, whether they belong to you or to the author you are quoting:

“I am a man / more sinned against than sinning,” Lear pronounces in Act 3, Scene 2 (59-60).

However, stronger forms of punctuation such as question marks and exclamation marks go inside the quotation if they belong to the author, and outside if they do not:

Bewildered, Lear asks the fool, “Who is it that can tell me who I am?” (1.4.227).

Why is Lear so rash as to let his “two daughters’ dowers digest the third” (1.1.127)?

Finally, use single quotation marks for all quotations within quotations:

When Elizabeth reveals that her younger sister has eloped, Darcy drops his customary reserve: “‘I am grieved, indeed,’ cried Darcy, ‘grieved—shocked'” (Austen 295).

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How to Put a Quote in an Essay

Last Updated: November 28, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,610,750 times.

Using a direct quote in your essay is a great way to support your ideas with concrete evidence, which you need to support your thesis. To select a good quote , look for a passage that supports your argument and is open to analysis. Then, incorporate that quote into your essay, and make sure you properly cite it based on the style guide you’re using.

Sample Quotes

introducing quotes in essays

Incorporating a Short Quote

Step 1 Incorporate short direct quotes into a sentence.

  • For instance, let's say this is the quote you want to use: "The brown leaves symbolize the death of their relationship, while the green buds suggest new opportunities will soon unfold."
  • If you just type that sentence into your essay and put quotes around it, your reader will be disoriented. Instead, you could incorporate it into a sentence like this: "The imagery in the story mirrors what's happening in Lia's love life, as 'The brown leaves symbolize the death of their relationship, while the green buds suggest new opportunities will soon unfold.'"

Step 2 Use a lead-in...

  • "Critic Alex Li says, 'The frequent references to the color blue are used to suggest that the family is struggling to cope with the loss of their matriarch.'"
  • "According to McKinney’s research, 'Adults who do yoga at least three times a week have lower blood pressure, better sleeping patterns, and fewer everyday frustrations.'"
  • "Based on several recent studies, people are more likely to sit on the park benches when they're shaded by trees."

Step 3 Put quotation marks...

  • You still need to use quotation marks even if you're only quoting a few words.
  • If you're in doubt, it's best to be cautious and use quotes.

Step 4 Provide commentary after...

  • For example, let’s say you used the quote, “According to McKinney’s research, ‘Adults who do yoga at least three times a week have lower blood pressure, better sleeping patterns, and fewer everyday frustrations.’” Your commentary might read, “This shows that yoga can have a positive impact on people’s health, so incorporating it into the workplace can help improve employee health outcomes. Since yoga makes employees healthier, they’ll likely have reduced insurance costs.”

Step 5 Paraphrase

  • When you use a paraphrase, you still need to provide commentary that links the paraphrased material back to your thesis and ideas.

Using a Long Quote

Step 1 Introduce a long direct quote, then set it off in a block.

  • The reader will recognize that the material is a direct quote because it's set off from the rest of the text. That's why you don't need to use quotation marks. However, you will include your citation at the bottom.

Step 2 Write an introductory lead-in to tell the reader what the quote is about.

  • "In The Things They Carried , the items carried by soldiers in the Vietnam war are used to both characterize them and burden the readers with the weight they are carrying: The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near-necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations, and two or three canteens of water." (O'Brien 2)

Variation: When you're citing two or more paragraphs, you must use block quotes, even if the passage you want to quote is less than four lines long. You should indent the first line of each paragraph an extra quarter inch. Then, use ellipses (…) at the end of one paragraph to transition to the next.

Step 3 Indent the block quote by .5 inches (1.3 cm) from the left margin.

  • Your block quote will use the same spacing as the rest of your paper, which will likely be double-spacing.

Step 4 Use an ellipsis to omit a word or words from a direct quote.

  • For example, “According to Li, “Rosa is the first sister to pick a rose because she’s the only one who’s begun to move on after their mother’s death” might become “According to Li, “Rosa is the first sister to pick a rose because she’s … begun to move on after their mother’s death.”
  • Don’t eliminate words to change the meaning of the original text. For instance, it’s not appropriate to use an ellipsis to change “plants did not grow faster when exposed to poetry” to “plants did … grow faster when exposed to poetry.”

Step 5 Put brackets around words you need to add to a quote for clarification.

  • For example, let’s say you want to use the quote, “All of them experienced a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.” This doesn’t tell the reader who you’re talking about. You could use brackets to say, “All of [the teachers in the study] experienced a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.”
  • However, if you know the study is talking about teachers, you couldn’t use brackets to say, “All of [society experiences] a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.”

Step 6 Provide commentary after a quote to explain how it supports your ideas.

  • If you don't explain your quote well, then it's not helping your ideas. You can't expect the reader to connect the quote back to your thesis for you.

Step 7 Paraphrase the quote to condense it to 1 or 2 sentences, if you can.

  • For instance, you may prefer to use a long block quote to present a passage from a literary work that demonstrates the author's style. However, let's say you were using a journal article to provide a critic's perspective on an author's work. You may not need to directly quote an entire paragraph word-for-word to get their point across. Instead, use a paraphrase.

Tip: If you’re unsure about a quote, ask yourself, “Can I paraphrase this in more concise language and not lose any support for my argument?” If the answer is yes, a quote is not necessary.

Citing Your Quote

Step 1 Cite the author’s...

  • An MLA citation will look like this: (Lopez 24)
  • For sources with multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Anderson and Smith 55-56) or (Taylor, Gomez, and Austin 89)
  • If you use the author’s name in your lead-in to the quote, you just need to provide the year in parentheses: According to Luz Lopez, “the green grass symbolizes a fresh start for Lia (24).”

Step 2 Include the author’s...

  • An APA citation for a direct quote looks like this: (Ronan, 2019, p. 10)
  • If you’re citing multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Cruz, Hanks, and Simmons, 2019, p. 85)
  • If you incorporated the author’s name into your lead-in, you can just give the year and page number: Based on Ronan’s (2019, p. 10) analysis, “coffee breaks improve productivity.”

Step 3 Use the author’s last name, date, and page number for Chicago Style.

  • For instance, a Chicago Style citation will look like this: (Alexander 2019, 125)
  • If you’re quoting a source with multiple authors, separate them with the word “and:” (Pattinson, Stewart, and Green 2019, 175)
  • If you already incorporated the author’s name into your quote, then you can just provide the year and page number: According to Alexander, “the smell of roses increases feelings of happiness” (2019, 125).

Step 4 Prepare a Works...

  • For MLA, you'd cite an article like this: Lopez, Luz. "A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in 'Her Darkest Sunshine.'" Journal of Stories , vol. 2, no. 5, 2019, p. 15-22. [17] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • In APA, you'd cite an article like this: Lopez, Luz. (2019). A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in "Her Darkest Sunshine." Journal of Stories , 2(5), 15-22. [18] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • For Chicago Style, your article citation would look like this: Lopez, Luz. "A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in 'Her Darkest Sunshine.'" Journal of Stories 2 no. 4 (2019): 15-22. [19] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Selecting a Quote

Step 1 Select a quote that backs up the argument you’re making.

Tip: Quotes are most effective when the original language of the person or text you’re quoting is worth repeating word-for-word.

Step 2 Make sure the quote is something you can analyze.

  • 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.

Step 3 Avoid using too many direct quotes in your paper.

  • Paraphrases and summaries work just like a direct quote, except that you don’t need to put quotation marks around them because you’re using your own words to restate ideas. However, you still need to cite the sources you used.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

  • Always cite your quotes properly. If you don't, it is considered plagiarism. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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Write a Reflection Paper

  • ↑ https://www.ursinus.edu/live/files/1160-integrating-quotespdf
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-quotes-.html
  • ↑ https://helpfulprofessor.com/quotes/
  • ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/using-sources/quotations/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_quotations.html
  • ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide/intext
  • ↑ https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_articles_in_periodicals.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/periodicals.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/quotations/

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Medical Disclaimer

The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before starting, changing, or stopping any kind of health treatment.

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To put a quote in an essay, incorporate it directly into a sentence if it's shorter than 4 typed lines. For example, you could write "According to researchers," and then insert the quote. If a quote is longer than 4 typed lines, set it off from the rest of the paragraph, and don't put quotes around it. After the quote, include an in-text citation so readers know where it's from. The right way to cite the quote will depend on whether you're using MLA, APA, or Chicago Style formatting. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to omit words from a quote, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

Used effectively, quotations can provide important pieces of evidence and lend fresh voices and perspectives to your narrative. Used ineffectively, however, quotations can clutter your text and interrupt the flow of your argument. This handout will help you decide when and how to quote like a pro.

When should I quote?

Use quotations at strategically selected moments. You have probably been told by teachers to provide as much evidence as possible in support of your thesis. But packing your paper with quotations will not necessarily strengthen your argument. The majority of your paper should still be your original ideas in your own words (after all, it’s your paper). And quotations are only one type of evidence: well-balanced papers may also make use of paraphrases, data, and statistics. The types of evidence you use will depend in part on the conventions of the discipline or audience for which you are writing. For example, papers analyzing literature may rely heavily on direct quotations of the text, while papers in the social sciences may have more paraphrasing, data, and statistics than quotations.

Discussing specific arguments or ideas

Sometimes, in order to have a clear, accurate discussion of the ideas of others, you need to quote those ideas word for word. Suppose you want to challenge the following statement made by John Doe, a well-known historian:

“At the beginning of World War Two, almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly.”

If it is especially important that you formulate a counterargument to this claim, then you might wish to quote the part of the statement that you find questionable and establish a dialogue between yourself and John Doe:

Historian John Doe has argued that in 1941 “almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly” (Doe 223). Yet during the first six months of U.S. involvement, the wives and mothers of soldiers often noted in their diaries their fear that the war would drag on for years.

Giving added emphasis to a particularly authoritative source on your topic.

There will be times when you want to highlight the words of a particularly important and authoritative source on your topic. For example, suppose you were writing an essay about the differences between the lives of male and female slaves in the U.S. South. One of your most provocative sources is a narrative written by a former slave, Harriet Jacobs. It would then be appropriate to quote some of Jacobs’s words:

Harriet Jacobs, a former slave from North Carolina, published an autobiographical slave narrative in 1861. She exposed the hardships of both male and female slaves but ultimately concluded that “slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women.”

In this particular example, Jacobs is providing a crucial first-hand perspective on slavery. Thus, her words deserve more exposure than a paraphrase could provide.

Jacobs is quoted in Harriet A. Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, ed. Jean Fagan Yellin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987).

Analyzing how others use language.

This scenario is probably most common in literature and linguistics courses, but you might also find yourself writing about the use of language in history and social science classes. If the use of language is your primary topic, then you will obviously need to quote users of that language.

Examples of topics that might require the frequent use of quotations include:

Southern colloquial expressions in William Faulkner’s Light in August

Ms. and the creation of a language of female empowerment

A comparison of three British poets and their use of rhyme

Spicing up your prose.

In order to lend variety to your prose, you may wish to quote a source with particularly vivid language. All quotations, however, must closely relate to your topic and arguments. Do not insert a quotation solely for its literary merits.

One example of a quotation that adds flair:

President Calvin Coolidge’s tendency to fall asleep became legendary. As H. L. Mencken commented in the American Mercury in 1933, “Nero fiddled, but Coolidge only snored.”

How do I set up and follow up a quotation?

Once you’ve carefully selected the quotations that you want to use, your next job is to weave those quotations into your text. The words that precede and follow a quotation are just as important as the quotation itself. You can think of each quote as the filling in a sandwich: it may be tasty on its own, but it’s messy to eat without some bread on either side of it. Your words can serve as the “bread” that helps readers digest each quote easily. Below are four guidelines for setting up and following up quotations.

In illustrating these four steps, we’ll use as our example, Franklin Roosevelt’s famous quotation, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

1. Provide context for each quotation.

Do not rely on quotations to tell your story for you. It is your responsibility to provide your reader with context for the quotation. The context should set the basic scene for when, possibly where, and under what circumstances the quotation was spoken or written. So, in providing context for our above example, you might write:

When Franklin Roosevelt gave his inaugural speech on March 4, 1933, he addressed a nation weakened and demoralized by economic depression.

2. Attribute each quotation to its source.

Tell your reader who is speaking. Here is a good test: try reading your text aloud. Could your reader determine without looking at your paper where your quotations begin? If not, you need to attribute the quote more noticeably.

Avoid getting into the “he/she said” attribution rut! There are many other ways to attribute quotes besides this construction. Here are a few alternative verbs, usually followed by “that”:

Different reporting verbs are preferred by different disciplines, so pay special attention to these in your disciplinary reading. If you’re unfamiliar with the meanings of any of these words or others you find in your reading, consult a dictionary before using them.

3. Explain the significance of the quotation.

Once you’ve inserted your quotation, along with its context and attribution, don’t stop! Your reader still needs your assessment of why the quotation holds significance for your paper. Using our Roosevelt example, if you were writing a paper on the first one-hundred days of FDR’s administration, you might follow the quotation by linking it to that topic:

With that message of hope and confidence, the new president set the stage for his next one-hundred days in office and helped restore the faith of the American people in their government.

4. Provide a citation for the quotation.

All quotations, just like all paraphrases, require a formal citation. For more details about particular citation formats, see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . In general, you should remember one rule of thumb: Place the parenthetical reference or footnote/endnote number after—not within—the closed quotation mark.

Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (Roosevelt, Public Papers, 11).

Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”1

How do I embed a quotation into a sentence?

In general, avoid leaving quotes as sentences unto themselves. Even if you have provided some context for the quote, a quote standing alone can disrupt your flow.  Take a look at this example:

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression. “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

Standing by itself, the quote’s connection to the preceding sentence is unclear. There are several ways to incorporate a quote more smoothly:

Lead into the quote with a colon.

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression: “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

The colon announces that a quote will follow to provide evidence for the sentence’s claim.

Introduce or conclude the quote by attributing it to the speaker. If your attribution precedes the quote, you will need to use a comma after the verb.

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression. He states, “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

When faced with a twelve-foot mountain troll, Ron gathers his courage, shouting, “Wingardium Leviosa!” (Rowling, p. 176).

The Pirate King sees an element of regality in their impoverished and dishonest life. “It is, it is a glorious thing/To be a pirate king,” he declares (Pirates of Penzance, 1983).

Interrupt the quote with an attribution to the speaker. Again, you will need to use a comma after the verb, as well as a comma leading into the attribution.

“There is nothing either good or bad,” Hamlet argues, “but thinking makes it so” (Hamlet 2.2).

“And death shall be no more,” Donne writes, “Death thou shalt die” (“Death, Be Not Proud,” l. 14).

Dividing the quote may highlight a particular nuance of the quote’s meaning. In the first example, the division calls attention to the two parts of Hamlet’s claim. The first phrase states that nothing is inherently good or bad; the second phrase suggests that our perspective causes things to become good or bad. In the second example, the isolation of “Death thou shalt die” at the end of the sentence draws a reader’s attention to that phrase in particular. As you decide whether or not you want to break up a quote, you should consider the shift in emphasis that the division might create.

Use the words of the quote grammatically within your own sentence.

When Hamlet tells Rosencrantz that he “could be bounded in a nutshell and count [him]self a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2), he implies that thwarted ambition did not cause his depression.

Ultimately, death holds no power over Donne since in the afterlife, “death shall be no more” (“Death, Be Not Proud,” l. 14).

Note that when you use “that” after the verb that introduces the quote, you no longer need a comma.

The Pirate King argues that “it is, it is a glorious thing/to be a pirate king” (Pirates of Penzance, 1983).

How much should I quote?

As few words as possible. Remember, your paper should primarily contain your own words, so quote only the most pithy and memorable parts of sources. Here are guidelines for selecting quoted material judiciously:

Excerpt fragments.

Sometimes, you should quote short fragments, rather than whole sentences. Suppose you interviewed Jane Doe about her reaction to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. She commented:

“I couldn’t believe it. It was just unreal and so sad. It was just unbelievable. I had never experienced such denial. I don’t know why I felt so strongly. Perhaps it was because JFK was more to me than a president. He represented the hopes of young people everywhere.”

You could quote all of Jane’s comments, but her first three sentences are fairly redundant. You might instead want to quote Jane when she arrives at the ultimate reason for her strong emotions:

Jane Doe grappled with grief and disbelief. She had viewed JFK, not just as a national figurehead, but as someone who “represented the hopes of young people everywhere.”

Excerpt those fragments carefully!

Quoting the words of others carries a big responsibility. Misquoting misrepresents the ideas of others. Here’s a classic example of a misquote:

John Adams has often been quoted as having said: “This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it.”

John Adams did, in fact, write the above words. But if you see those words in context, the meaning changes entirely. Here’s the rest of the quotation:

Twenty times, in the course of my late reading, have I been on the point of breaking out, ‘this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!!!!’ But in this exclamation, I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in public company—I mean hell.

As you can see from this example, context matters!

This example is from Paul F. Boller, Jr. and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions (Oxford University Press, 1989).

Use block quotations sparingly.

There may be times when you need to quote long passages. However, you should use block quotations only when you fear that omitting any words will destroy the integrity of the passage. If that passage exceeds four lines (some sources say five), then set it off as a block quotation.

Be sure you are handling block quotes correctly in papers for different academic disciplines–check the index of the citation style guide you are using. Here are a few general tips for setting off your block quotations:

  • Set up a block quotation with your own words followed by a colon.
  • Indent. You normally indent 4-5 spaces for the start of a paragraph. When setting up a block quotation, indent the entire paragraph once from the left-hand margin.
  • Single space or double space within the block quotation, depending on the style guidelines of your discipline (MLA, CSE, APA, Chicago, etc.).
  • Do not use quotation marks at the beginning or end of the block quote—the indentation is what indicates that it’s a quote.
  • Place parenthetical citation according to your style guide (usually after the period following the last sentence of the quote).
  • Follow up a block quotation with your own words.

So, using the above example from John Adams, here’s how you might include a block quotation:

After reading several doctrinally rigid tracts, John Adams recalled the zealous ranting of his former teacher, Joseph Cleverly, and minister, Lemuel Bryant. He expressed his ambivalence toward religion in an 1817 letter to Thomas Jefferson:

Adams clearly appreciated religion, even if he often questioned its promotion.

How do I combine quotation marks with other punctuation marks?

It can be confusing when you start combining quotation marks with other punctuation marks. You should consult a style manual for complicated situations, but the following two rules apply to most cases:

Keep periods and commas within quotation marks.

So, for example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries.”

In the above example, both the comma and period were enclosed in the quotation marks. The main exception to this rule involves the use of internal citations, which always precede the last period of the sentence. For example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries” (Poe 167).

Note, however, that the period remains inside the quotation marks when your citation style involves superscript footnotes or endnotes. For example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries.” 2

Place all other punctuation marks (colons, semicolons, exclamation marks, question marks) outside the quotation marks, except when they were part of the original quotation.

Take a look at the following examples:

I couldn’t believe it when my friend passed me a note in the cafe saying the management “started charging $15 per hour for parking”!

The coach yelled, “Run!”

In the first example, the author placed the exclamation point outside the quotation mark because she added it herself to emphasize the outrageous nature of the parking price change. The original note had not included an exclamation mark. In the second example, the exclamation mark remains within the quotation mark because it is indicating the excited tone in which the coach yelled the command. Thus, the exclamation mark is considered to be part of the original quotation.

How do I indicate quotations within quotations?

If you are quoting a passage that contains a quotation, then you use single quotation marks for the internal quotation. Quite rarely, you quote a passage that has a quotation within a quotation. In that rare instance, you would use double quotation marks for the second internal quotation.

Here’s an example of a quotation within a quotation:

In “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” Hans Christian Andersen wrote, “‘But the Emperor has nothing on at all!’ cried a little child.”

Remember to consult your style guide to determine how to properly cite a quote within a quote.

When do I use those three dots ( . . . )?

Whenever you want to leave out material from within a quotation, you need to use an ellipsis, which is a series of three periods, each of which should be preceded and followed by a space. So, an ellipsis in this sentence would look like . . . this. There are a few rules to follow when using ellipses:

Be sure that you don’t fundamentally change the meaning of the quotation by omitting material.

Take a look at the following example:

“The Writing Center is located on the UNC campus and serves the entire UNC community.”

“The Writing Center . . . serves the entire UNC community.”

The reader’s understanding of the Writing Center’s mission to serve the UNC community is not affected by omitting the information about its location.

Do not use ellipses at the beginning or ending of quotations, unless it’s important for the reader to know that the quotation was truncated.

For example, using the above example, you would NOT need an ellipsis in either of these situations:

“The Writing Center is located on the UNC campus . . .”

The Writing Center ” . . . serves the entire UNC community.”

Use punctuation marks in combination with ellipses when removing material from the end of sentences or clauses.

For example, if you take material from the end of a sentence, keep the period in as usual.

“The boys ran to school, forgetting their lunches and books. Even though they were out of breath, they made it on time.”

“The boys ran to school. . . . Even though they were out of breath, they made it on time.”

Likewise, if you excerpt material at the end of clause that ends in a comma, retain the comma.

“The red car came to a screeching halt that was heard by nearby pedestrians, but no one was hurt.”

“The red car came to a screeching halt . . . , but no one was hurt.”

Is it ever okay to insert my own words or change words in a quotation?

Sometimes it is necessary for clarity and flow to alter a word or words within a quotation. You should make such changes rarely. In order to alert your reader to the changes you’ve made, you should always bracket the altered words. Here are a few examples of situations when you might need brackets:

Changing verb tense or pronouns in order to be consistent with the rest of the sentence.

Suppose you were quoting a woman who, when asked about her experiences immigrating to the United States, commented “nobody understood me.” You might write:

Esther Hansen felt that when she came to the United States “nobody understood [her].”

In the above example, you’ve changed “me” to “her” in order to keep the entire passage in third person. However, you could avoid the need for this change by simply rephrasing:

“Nobody understood me,” recalled Danish immigrant Esther Hansen.

Including supplemental information that your reader needs in order to understand the quotation.

For example, if you were quoting someone’s nickname, you might want to let your reader know the full name of that person in brackets.

“The principal of the school told Billy [William Smith] that his contract would be terminated.”

Similarly, if a quotation referenced an event with which the reader might be unfamiliar, you could identify that event in brackets.

“We completely revised our political strategies after the strike [of 1934].”

Indicating the use of nonstandard grammar or spelling.

In rare situations, you may quote from a text that has nonstandard grammar, spelling, or word choice. In such cases, you may want to insert [sic], which means “thus” or “so” in Latin. Using [sic] alerts your reader to the fact that this nonstandard language is not the result of a typo on your part. Always italicize “sic” and enclose it in brackets. There is no need to put a period at the end. Here’s an example of when you might use [sic]:

Twelve-year-old Betsy Smith wrote in her diary, “Father is afraid that he will be guilty of beach [sic] of contract.”

Here [sic] indicates that the original author wrote “beach of contract,” not breach of contract, which is the accepted terminology.

Do not overuse brackets!

For example, it is not necessary to bracket capitalization changes that you make at the beginning of sentences. For example, suppose you were going to use part of this quotation:

“The colors scintillated curiously over a hard carapace, and the beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello.”

If you wanted to begin a sentence with an excerpt from the middle of this quotation, there would be no need to bracket your capitalization changes.

“The beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello,” said Dr. Grace Farley, remembering a defining moment on her journey to becoming an entomologist.

Not: “[T]he beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello,” said Dr. Grace Farley, remembering a defining moment on her journey to becoming an entomologist.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Barzun, Jacques, and Henry F. Graff. 2012. The Modern Researcher , 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. FitzGerald. 2016. The Craft of Research , 4th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Gibaldi, Joseph. 2009. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers , 7th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.

Turabian, Kate. 2018. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, Dissertations , 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Writing Resources

Phrases for introducing sources and quotations.

This handout is available for download in DOCX format and PDF format .

Capturing Authorial Action through Summaries or Paraphrasing

These phrases alert your reader that you as a writer are about to summarize or paraphrase another idea established by an authority on a chosen topic. Note that while some of these are quite neutral, others allow you to imply things about the quote’s tone, similarity, contrast, and/or significance in relation to other sources or to your larger argument.

Author X…

  • acknowledges that [blank].
  • agrees that [blank].
  • argues that [blank].
  • believes that [blank].
  • celebrates the fact that [blank].
  • claims that [blank].
  • complains that [blank].
  • concedes that [blank].
  • demonstrates that [blank].
  • deplores the tendency to [blank].
  • denies/does not deny that [blank].
  • emphasizes that [blank].
  • insists that [blank].
  • maintains that [blank].
  • observes that [blank].
  • opines that [blank].
  • questions whether [blank].
  • refutes the claim that [blank].
  • reminds us that [blank].
  • reports that [blank].
  • suggests that [blank].
  • urges us to [blank].

Introducing Quotations

These phrases alert your reader that you are about to quote directly from another source. As with the phrases above, some are quite neutral, while others allow you to imply things about the quote’s tone, similarity, contrast, and/or significance in relation to other sources or to your larger argument.

  • X states, “ [blank] .”
  • As X puts it, “ [blank] .”
  • According to X, “ [blank] .”
  • X writes, “ [blank] .”
  • In her book/essay [blank] , X maintains that “ [blank] .”
  • Writing in the journal [blank] , X complains that “ [blank] .”
  • In X's view, “ [blank] .”
  • X agrees when she writes, “ [blank] .”
  • X disagrees when he writes, “ [blank] .”
  • X complicates matters further when they write, “ [blank] .”

Explaining Quotations

Remember that every paragraph must provide clarification, interpretation, or necessary analysis of a supplied quotation or paraphrase; this allows you to explain not only the quote itself, but how it fits into your larger argument. The phrases listed here are just some of the ways in which you can alert your reader that you are about to rephrase, clarify, expand, and otherwise analyze the source you have previously introduced.

  • Basically/Essentially, X is saying [blank] .
  • In other words, X believes [blank] .
  • In making this comment, X urges us to [blank] .
  • X is corroborating the idea that [blank] .
  • X's point is that [blank] .
  • The core/gist/meaning/significance of X' s argument is that [blank] .

And of course, remember that all outside sources must be cited correctly! For more information on how to effectively and accurately incorporate outside sources into your writing, please refer to the handout on “Working with Quotations.”

Adapted from Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (New York: W.W. Norton, 2014) and David Glen Smith (http://www.davidglensmith.com/Tomball/supplemental/signal-phrases.pdf) by Robert B. Cochran, Brandeis University Writing Program, 2020.

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Introducing Quotations and Paraphrases

The work you produce at university usually involves the important ideas, writings and discoveries of experts in your field of study. These contributions are always acknowledged by referencing, and there will be times when you introduce other people's views into your work and want to name them in the text. Naming other authors when you're introducing their views into your work can be done with quotations or paraphrases.

When to introduce quotes or paraphrases

  • when you want to use an author as an authoritative voice
  • to introduce an author's position you may wish to discuss
  • to provide evidence for your own writing
  • to make a clear distinction between the views of different authors
  • to make a clear distinction between an author's views and your own

Introductory phrases

Use introductory phrases to tell the reader what the author thinks or does in their text. Consider using the following after you have given the author's name (and the year or notation):

  • X states that . . .
  • X claims that . . .
  • X asserts that . . .
  • X agrees that . . .
  • X strongly argues . . .
  • X comments that . . .
  • X suggests that . . .
  • X says that . . .
  • X observes that . . .
  • X takes the view that . . .
  • X contends that . . .
  • X believes that . . .
  • X proposes that . . .
  • X concludes that . . .
  • X maintains that . . .
  • X concedes that . . .
  • X notes that . . .
  • According to X . . .
  • As X states . . .

With Different Referencing Styles

Quotation with Harvard referencing:

Braitman (2012, p. 167) argues Freud was very fond of dogs and was "a believer in interspecies friendship".

Quotation with  Footnote referencing:

Braitman asserts that Freud was very fond of dogs and was "a believer in interspecies friendship". 1

Paraphrase with Harvard referencing:

Braitman (2012, p. 167) states that it was Freud's relationship with Jofi and Lun, his pet Chow, that convinced him that relationships between different species could exist.

Paraphrase with Footnote referencing:

As Braitman points out, it was Freud's relationship with Jofi and Lun, his pet Chow, that convinced him that relationships between different species could exist. 1

Agreeing and disagreeing

You can indicate your agreement or disagreement with a statement by the introductory phrase you choose.

When you want to disagree with a statement

Harrison (1992, p. 566) mistakenly argues that Freud disliked animals.

When you want to show agreement with a statement

Greenleaf (2002, p. 146) correctly argues that it was his own pet dogs that stimulated Freud's interest in the human-animal bond.

As Greenleaf (2002, p. 146) points out, Freud developed an interest in "interspecies relationships" through experiences with his family pets.

A Neutral Approach

Harrison (1992) and Greenleaf (2002) both examine the relationship between Freud and his dogs.

Hirsh, EP 1996, Writing About Art , Longman, Melbourne.

  • Transition signals in writing
  • Quotations and paraphrases
  • Punctuation
  • Paraphrasing, summarising, quoting
  • ^ More support

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  • Writing Tips

Essay Tips: Introducing Quotations

Essay Tips: Introducing Quotations

3-minute read

  • 18th September 2017

It’d be hard to write a good essay without quoting sources. But if you’re going to use someone else’s words, you need to do it properly.

This includes citing quoted text and using quote marks , as well as making sure that quotations are introduced properly. To help out, we’ve prepared this quick guide to introducing quotations in an essay.

Short Quotations

The easiest way to quote a source is to work a short passage (sometimes just a single word) into your own sentence:

The tomb was one of archaeology’s ‘most intriguing discoveries’ (Andronicus, 1978, p. 55) and has fascinated researchers ever since.

As above, the only requirements here are using quote marks and making sure the quote fits with the surrounding text.

Quoting After a Colon

If quoting a source after a full sentence, you will usually introduce it with a colon:

On the basis of Philip II’s estimated date of death, Andronicus (1978) draws a strong conclusion : ‘This, in all probability, must be his tomb’ (p. 76).

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 if required.

introducing quotes in essays

Quoting After a Comma

Alternatively, you can use a comma to introduce a quote. When doing this, the quoted text should follow from the preceding sentence (usually after a word like ‘says’ or ‘argues’ ):

Andronicus (1978) says , ‘The weapons bore witness that the tomb could not have belonged to a commoner’ (p. 73).

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However, when a quote follows the word ‘that’, no comma is needed:

Andronicus (1978) says that ‘The weapons bore witness that the tomb could not have belonged to a commoner’ (p. 73).

Keep this punctuation difference in mind when quoting sources in your work.

Block Quotes

Finally, for longer quotations, you can use a block quote . These are also introduced with a colon, but they don’t have to follow from a full sentence in this case. Furthermore, quoted text should be indented and begin on a new line, as shown below:

Andronicus (1978) describes the fresco as follows:

The barely visible painting depicts three hunters with spears and five horsemen with dogs pursuing their prey, wild boars and lions. This and three other paintings discovered in the adjacent tomb are among the few extant examples of fourth-century BC Greek frescoes. (p. 72)

This emphasises how important the discovery was for understanding…

Usually, block quotes are used for passages of more than 40 words or four lines. The exact rules depend on the referencing system you’re using, though, so make sure to check your style guide.

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A Guide to Using Quotations in Essays

Quotations Add Credibility to a Persuasive Essay

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If you want to make an impact on your reader, you can draw on the potency of quotations. The  effective use of quotations  augments the power of your arguments and makes your essays more interesting.

But there is a need for caution! Are you convinced that the quotation you have chosen is helping your essay and not hurting it? Here are some factors to consider to ensure that you are doing the right thing.

What Is This Quotation Doing in This Essay?

Let us begin at the beginning. You have a chosen a quotation for your essay. But, why that specific quotation?

A good quotation should do one or more of the following:

  • Make an opening impact on the reader
  • Build credibility for your essay
  • Make the essay more interesting
  • Close the essay with a point to ponder upon

If the quotation does not meet a few of these objectives, then it is of little value. Merely stuffing a quotation into your essay can do more harm than good.

Your Essay Is Your Mouthpiece

Should the quotation speak for the essay or should the essay speak for the quotation? Quotations should add impact to the essay and not steal the show. If your quotation has more punch than your essay, then something is seriously wrong. Your essay should be able to stand on its own legs; the quotation should merely make this stand stronger.

How Many Quotations Should You Use in Your Essay?

Using too many quotations is like having several people shouting on your behalf. This will drown out your voice. Refrain from overcrowding your essay with words of wisdom from famous people. You own the essay, so make sure that you are heard.

Don't Make It Look Like You Plagiarized

There are some rules and standards when using quotations in an essay. The most important one is that you should not give the impression of being the author of the quotation. That would amount to plagiarism . Here are a set of rules to clearly distinguish your writing from the quotation:

  • You may describe the quotation in your own words before using it. In this case, you should use a colon (:) to indicate the beginning of the quotation. Then begin the quotation with a quotation mark ("). After you have completed the quotation, close it with a quotation mark ("). Here is an example: Sir Winston Churchill made a witty remark on the attitude of a pessimist: "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
  • The sentence in which the quotation is embedded might not explicitly describe the quotation, but merely introduce it. In such a case, do away with the colon. Simply use the quotation marks . Here is an example: Sir Winston Churchill once said, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
  • As far as possible, you should mention the author and the source of the quotation. For instance: In Shakespeare ’s play "As You Like It," Touchstone says to Audrey in the Forest of Arden, "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." (Act V, Scene I).
  • Ensure that the source of your quotation is authentic. Also, verify the author of your quotation. You can do so by looking up the quotation on authoritative websites. For formal writing, do not rely on just one website.

Blend Quotations In

An essay can seem quite jarring if the quotation does not blend in. The quotation should naturally fit into your essay. No one is interested in reading quotation-stuffed essays.

Here are some good tips on blending in your quotations:

  • You can begin your essay with a quotation that sets off the basic idea of the essay. This can have a lasting impact on your reader. In the introductory paragraph of your essay, you can comment on the quotation if you like. In any case, do ensure that the relevance of the quotation is communicated well.
  • Your choice of phrases and adjectives can significantly boost the impact of the quotation in your essay. Do not use monotonous phrases like: "George Washington once said...." If your essay is written for the appropriate context, consider using emphatic expressions like: "George Washington rocked the nation by saying...."

Using Long Quotations

It is usually better to have short and crisp quotations in your essay. Generally, long quotations must be used sparingly as they tend to weigh down the reader. However, there are times when your essay has more impact with a longer quotation.

If you have decided to use a long quotation, consider paraphrasing , as it usually works better. But, there is a downside to paraphrasing too. Instead of paraphrasing, if you use a direct quotation , you will avoid misrepresentation. The decision to use a long quotation is not trivial. It is your judgment call.

If you are convinced that a particular long quotation is more effective, be sure to format and punctuate it correctly.   Long quotations should be set off as block quotations . The format of block quotations should follow the guidelines that you might have been provided. If there are no specific guidelines, you can follow the usual standard—if a quotation is more than three lines long, you set it off as a block quote. Blocking implies indenting it about half an inch on the left.

Usually, a brief introduction to a long quotation is warranted. In other cases, you might need to provide a complete analysis of the quotation. In this case, it is best to begin with the quotation and follow it with the analysis, rather than the other way around.

Using Cute Quotes or Poetry

Some students choose a cute quotation first and then try to plug it into their essay. As a consequence, such quotations usually drag the reader away from the essay.

Quoting a verse from a poem, however, can add a lot of charm to your essay. I have come across writing that acquires a romantic edge merely by including a poetic quotation. If you are quoting from poetry, keep in mind that a small extract of a poem, say about two lines long, requires the use of slash marks (/) to indicate line breaks. Here is an example:

Charles Lamb has aptly described a child as "A child's a plaything for an hour;/ Its pretty tricks we try / For that or for a longer space; / Then tire, and lay it by." (1-4)

If you use a single line extract of a poem, punctuate it like any other short quotation without the slashes. Quotation marks are required at the beginning and at the end of the extract. However, if your quotation is more than three lines of poetry, I would suggest that you treat it like you would have treated a long quotation from prose. In this case, you should use the block quote format.

Does Your Reader Understand the Quotation?

Perhaps the most important question you must ask yourself when using a quotation is: "Do readers understand the quotation and its relevance to my essay ?"

If the reader is re-reading a quotation, just to understand it, then you are in trouble. So when you choose a quotation for your essay, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this too convoluted for my reader?
  • Does this match the tastes of my audience ?
  • Is the grammar and vocabulary in this quotation understandable?
  • How to Use Block Quotations in Writing
  • Definition and Examples of Direct Quotations
  • Definition and Examples of Quotation in English Grammar
  • How to Use Shakespeare Quotes
  • Guidelines for Using Quotation Marks Correctly
  • What Is an Indentation?
  • Practice in Using Quotation Marks Correctly
  • How To Write an Essay
  • Difference Between "Quote" and "Quotation": What Is the Right Word?
  • The Five Steps of Writing an Essay
  • How and When to Paraphrase Quotations
  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay
  • Development in Composition: Building an Essay
  • Compose a Narrative Essay or Personal Statement
  • What Is a Compelling Introduction?

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Words that introduce Quotes or Paraphrases

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Remember that you are required to cite your sources for paraphrases and direct quotes. For more information on MLA Style, APA style, Chicago Style, ASA Style, CSE Style, and I-Search Format, refer to our Gallaudet TIP Citations and References  link.

Words that introduce Quotes or Paraphrases are basically three keys verbs:

  • Neutral Verbs( here )
  • Stronger Verbs( here )
  • Inference Verbs( here )

Neutral Verbs: When used to introduce a quote, the following verbs basically mean “says”

Examples of Neutral Verbs

The author  says. The author  notes. The author  believes. The author  observes. The author  comments. The author  relates. The author  declares. The author  remarks. The author  discusses. The author  reports. The author  explains. The author  reveals. The author  expresses. The author  states. The author  mentions. The author  acknowledges. The author  suggests. The author  thinks. The author  points out. The author  responds. The author  shows. The author  confirms.

Sample Sentences

  • Dr. Billow  says  that being exposed to television violence at a young age desensitizes children to violence in real life (author’s last name p.##).
  • As the author  notes , “In an ideal classroom, both gifted children and learning disabled children should feel challenged” (p.##).
  • Burdow  believes  that being able to write using proper English grammar is an important skill (author’s last name p.##).
  • Dr. Patel  observes  that “most people tend to respond well to hypnotherapy” (p. ##).
  • We see this self doubt again in the second scene, when Agatha comments , “Oh, times like this I just don’t know whether I am right or wrong, good or bad” (p. ##).
  • Goeff then relates  that his childhood was “the time he learned to live on less than bread alone” (p. ##).
  • The author declares , “All people, rich or poor, should pay the same taxes to the government” (p. ##).
  • Godfried remarks , “Ignorance is a skill learned by many of the greatest fools” (author’s last name p.##).
  • The article discusses the qualities of a good American housewife in the 1950s (author’s last name p.##).
  • After the war is over, the General reports that “It seemed a useless battle to fight even from the start” (p.##).
  • Danelli explains , “All mammals have hair” (p.##).
  • The author reveals his true feelings with his ironic remark that we should “just resort to cannibalism to defeat world hunger” (p. ##).
  • Forton expresses disapproval of the American welfare system (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • The author states that “More than fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce” (p. ##).
  • He also mentions , “Many children grow up feeling responsible for their parents’ mistakes” (p. ##).
  • Jones acknowledges that although the divorce rate is increasing, most young children still dream of getting married (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • The author suggests that we hone our English skills before venturing into the work force (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • The author thinks that the recent weather has been too hot (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • Folsh points out that there were hundreds of people from varying backgrounds at the convention (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • Julia Hertz responded to allegations that her company was aware of the faulty tires on their cars (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • His research shows that 7% of Americans suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • Jostin’s research confirmed his earlier hypothesis: mice really are smarter than rats (author’s last, year, name p. ##).

Stronger Verbs: These verbs indicate that there is some kind of argument, and that the quote shows either support of or disagreement with one side of the argument.

Examples of Stronger Verbs The author agrees . . .The author rejects . The author argues . The author compares . (the two studies) The author asserts . The author admits . The author cautions . The author disputes . The author emphasizes . The author contends . The author insists . The author denies . The author maintains . The author refutes . The author claims . The author endorses .

Sample Sentences MLA Style

  • Despite criticism, Johnston agrees that smoking should be banned in all public places (author’s last name p.##).
  • The author argues that “subjecting non-smokers to toxic second-hand smoke is not only unfair, but a violation of their right to a safe environment” (p.##).
  • Vick asserts that “cigarette smoke is unpleasant, and dangerous” (p.##).
  • The author cautions that “people who subject themselves to smoky bars night after night could develop illnesses such as emphysema or lung cancer” (p.##).
  • Rosentrhaw emphasizes that “second-hand smoke can kill” (p.##).
  • Still, tobacco company executives insist that they “were not fully aware of the long term damages caused by smoking” when they launched their nationwide advertising campaign (author’s last name p.##).
  • Though bar owners disagree, Johnston maintains that banning smoking in all public places will not negatively affect bar business (author’s last name p.##).
  • Jefferson claims that banning smoking in public places will hurt America’s economy (author’s last name p.##).
  • Johnson refutes allegations that his personal finances have been in trouble for the past five years (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • Whiley rejects the idea that the earth could have been formed by a massive explosion in space (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • Lucci compares the house prices in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • Although they have stopped short of admitting that smoking causes cancer in humans, tobacco companies have admitted that “smoking causes cancer in laboratory rats” (p. ##).
  • For years, local residents have been disputing the plans to build a new highway right through the center of town (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • Residents contend that the new highway will lower property values (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • The Department of Transportation denies claims that the new bridge will damage the fragile ecosystem of the Potomac River (author’s last name, year, p. ##).
  • Joley endorses the bridge, saying “our goal is to make this city more accessible to those who live outside of it” (p. ##).

Inference Verbs: These verbs indicate that there is some kind of argument, and that the quote shows either support of or disagreement with one side of the argument. Examples of Inference Verbs The author implies . The author suggests . The author thinks . Sample Sentences MLA Style

  • By calling them ignorant, the author implies that they were unschooled and narrow minded (author’s last name p.##).
  • Her preoccupation with her looks suggests that she is too superficial to make her a believable character (author’s last name p.##).
  • Based on his research, we can assume Hatfield thinks that our treatment of our environment has been careless (author’s last name p.##).

One phrase that is often used to introduce a quotation is: According to the author, . . .

  • According to the author, children with ADD have a shorter attention span than children without ADD (author’s last name, year, p. ##).

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Quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing

  • Using someone else's words
  • Long (block) quotations
  • Is my quotation effective?

Introducing quotations

Verb tense in signal phrases, author credit.

  • Punctuating quotations
  • Summarizing and paraphrasing
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Using signal or lead-in phrases is an excellent way to give your reader the necessary context to understand why you think the quotation is important to your discussion: 

A signal phrase usually names the author of the source, gives the publication year in parentheses, and often provides some context. It commonly appears before the source material. To vary your sentence structure, you may decide to interrupt source material with a signal phrase or place the signal phrase after your paraphrase, summary, or direct quotation (A Canadian Writer's Reference (5th ed.), Hacker & Sommers, p. 453)

Example:  Gore (1992) asserted the importance of considering the environmental effects of technological advances and noted that, “the appropriateness of a technology becomes increasingly important as its power grows and its potential for destroying the environment expands” (p. 146).

Verbs in signal phrases

Use active and descriptive verbs in your introduction of a quotation: 

(Source: A Canadian Writer's Reference (5th ed.), Hacker & Sommers, p. 454)

For more information, please visit Verbs for Referring to Sources (University of Toronto). No matter how you choose to incorporate the idea into your text, you want to make it clear that you are referring to someone else’s idea, not claiming it as your own.

Deciding the appropriate  verb tense  usually comes down to using the one that best reflects the time period of the action described in the text.

Present or Past Tense in Signal Phrases

The choice of using present or past tense in signal phrases for paraphrases or quotations largely depends on the discipline in which authors are writing or the style guide they’re following.

  • Present tense: Lee (2015) argues that…
  • Past tense: Lee (2015) argued that…

According to APA Style, "the past tense is appropriate when expressing an action or a condition that occurred at a specific, definite time in the past, such as when discussing another researcher's work" (American Psychological Association [APA], 2020, p. 118). When expressing "a past action or condition that did not occur at a specific, definite time or to describe an action beginning in the past and continuing to the present", use the present perfect tense (e.g, Lee (2015) has used...).

Using the past tense to refer to other researcher's work reflects that the quotation or paraphrase presents the author’s thinking at the time of writing the text, which happened in the past. The published text may not reflect the author’s current thinking, so putting the signal phrase in present tense makes a claim that can’t be investigated within the source material. If you’re unsure of which tense to use in signal phrases, please check with your instructor, supervisor, or journal editor.

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association  (7th ed.).  https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000

Adapted from "Using someone else's words: Quote, summarize, and paraphrase your way to success" © Center for Teaching and Faculty Development at San Francisco State University. Adapted with permission. 

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  • How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago

How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago

Published on April 15, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Jack Caulfield. Revised on May 31, 2023.

Quoting means copying a passage of someone else’s words and crediting the source. To quote a source, you must ensure:

  • The quoted text is enclosed in quotation marks or formatted as a block quote
  • The original author is correctly cited
  • The text is identical to the original

The exact format of a quote depends on its length and on which citation style you are using. Quoting and citing correctly is essential to avoid plagiarism which is easy to detect with a good plagiarism checker .

How to Quote

Table of contents

How to cite a quote in apa, mla and chicago, introducing quotes, quotes within quotes, shortening or altering a quote, block quotes, when should i use quotes, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about quoting sources.

Every time you quote, you must cite the source correctly . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style you’re using. Three of the most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

Citing a quote in APA Style

To cite a direct quote in APA , you must include the author’s last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas . If the quote appears on a single page, use “p.”; if it spans a page range, use “pp.”

An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in parentheses after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.

Punctuation marks such as periods and commas are placed after the citation, not within the quotation marks .

  • Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) .
  • Darwin (1859) explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (p. 510) .

Complete guide to APA

Citing a quote in mla style.

An MLA in-text citation includes only the author’s last name and a page number. As in APA, it can be parenthetical or narrative, and a period (or other punctuation mark) appears after the citation.

  • Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin 510) .
  • Darwin explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (510) .

Complete guide to MLA

Citing a quote in chicago style.

Chicago style uses Chicago footnotes to cite sources. A note, indicated by a superscript number placed directly after the quote, specifies the author, title, and page number—or sometimes fuller information .

Unlike with parenthetical citations, in this style, the period or other punctuation mark should appear within the quotation marks, followed by the footnote number.

Complete guide to Chicago style

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Make sure you integrate quotes properly into your text by introducing them in your own words, showing the reader why you’re including the quote and providing any context necessary to understand it.  Don’t  present quotations as stand-alone sentences.

There are three main strategies you can use to introduce quotes in a grammatically correct way:

  • Add an introductory sentence
  • Use an introductory signal phrase
  • Integrate the quote into your own sentence

The following examples use APA Style citations, but these strategies can be used in all styles.

Introductory sentence

Introduce the quote with a full sentence ending in a colon . Don’t use a colon if the text before the quote isn’t a full sentence.

If you name the author in your sentence, you may use present-tense verbs , such as “states,” “argues,” “explains,” “writes,” or “reports,” to describe the content of the quote.

  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).

Introductory signal phrase

You can also use a signal phrase that mentions the author or source, but doesn’t form a full sentence. In this case, you follow the phrase with a comma instead of a colon.

  • According to a recent poll, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • As Levring (2018) explains, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).

Integrated into your own sentence

To quote a phrase that doesn’t form a full sentence, you can also integrate it as part of your sentence, without any extra punctuation .

  • A recent poll suggests that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (p. 3).

When you quote text that itself contains another quote, this is called a nested quotation or a quote within a quote. It may occur, for example, when quoting dialogue from a novel.

To distinguish this quote from the surrounding quote, you enclose it in single (instead of double) quotation marks (even if this involves changing the punctuation from the original text). Make sure to close both sets of quotation marks at the appropriate moments.

Note that if you only quote the nested quotation itself, and not the surrounding text, you can just use double quotation marks.

  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “ “ Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, ” he told me, “ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” ” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had’” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway begins by quoting his father’s invocation to “remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (Fitzgerald 1).

Note:  When the quoted text in the source comes from another source, it’s best to just find that original source in order to quote it directly. If you can’t find the original source, you can instead cite it indirectly .

Often, incorporating a quote smoothly into your text requires you to make some changes to the original text. It’s fine to do this, as long as you clearly mark the changes you’ve made to the quote.

Shortening a quote

If some parts of a passage are redundant or irrelevant, you can shorten the quote by removing words, phrases, or sentences and replacing them with an ellipsis (…). Put a space before and after the ellipsis.

Be careful that removing the words doesn’t change the meaning. The ellipsis indicates that some text has been removed, but the shortened quote should still accurately represent the author’s point.

Altering a quote

You can add or replace words in a quote when necessary. This might be because the original text doesn’t fit grammatically with your sentence (e.g., it’s in a different verb tense), or because extra information is needed to clarify the quote’s meaning.

Use brackets to distinguish words that you have added from words that were present in the original text.

The Latin term “ sic ” is used to indicate a (factual or grammatical) mistake in a quotation. It shows the reader that the mistake is from the quoted material, not a typo of your own.

In some cases, it can be useful to italicize part of a quotation to add emphasis, showing the reader that this is the key part to pay attention to. Use the phrase “emphasis added” to show that the italics were not part of the original text.

You usually don’t need to use brackets to indicate minor changes to punctuation or capitalization made to ensure the quote fits the style of your text.

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introducing quotes in essays

If you quote more than a few lines from a source, you must format it as a block quote . Instead of using quotation marks, you set the quote on a new line and indent it so that it forms a separate block of text.

Block quotes are cited just like regular quotes, except that if the quote ends with a period, the citation appears after the period.

To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more. (16)

Avoid relying too heavily on quotes in academic writing . To integrate a source , it’s often best to paraphrase , which means putting the passage in your own words. This helps you integrate information smoothly and keeps your own voice dominant.

However, there are some situations in which quoting is more appropriate.

When focusing on language

If you want to comment on how the author uses language (for example, in literary analysis ), it’s necessary to quote so that the reader can see the exact passage you are referring to.

When giving evidence

To convince the reader of your argument, interpretation or position on a topic, it’s often helpful to include quotes that support your point. Quotes from primary sources (for example, interview transcripts or historical documents) are especially credible as evidence.

When presenting an author’s position or definition

When you’re referring to secondary sources such as scholarly books and journal articles, try to put others’ ideas in your own words when possible.

But if a passage does a great job at expressing, explaining, or defining something, and it would be very difficult to paraphrase without changing the meaning or losing the weakening the idea’s impact, it’s worth quoting directly.

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
  • What is ChatGPT?
  • Chicago style
  • Paraphrasing
  • Critical thinking

 Plagiarism

  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.

In academic writing , there are three main situations where quoting is the best choice:

  • To analyze the author’s language (e.g., in a literary analysis essay )
  • To give evidence from primary sources
  • To accurately present a precise definition or argument

Don’t overuse quotes; your own voice should be dominant. If you just want to provide information from a source, it’s usually better to paraphrase or summarize .

Every time you quote a source , you must include a correctly formatted in-text citation . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style .

For example, a direct quote in APA is cited like this: “This is a quote” (Streefkerk, 2020, p. 5).

Every in-text citation should also correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper.

A block quote is a long quote formatted as a separate “block” of text. Instead of using quotation marks , you place the quote on a new line, and indent the entire quote to mark it apart from your own words.

The rules for when to apply block quote formatting depend on the citation style:

  • APA block quotes are 40 words or longer.
  • MLA block quotes are more than 4 lines of prose or 3 lines of poetry.
  • Chicago block quotes are longer than 100 words.

If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarizes other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA and Chicago both recommend retaining the citations as part of the quote. However, MLA recommends omitting citations within a quote:

  • APA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
  • MLA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).

Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted in all styles.

If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase “as cited in” in your citation.

In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quoting should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper.

In social sciences, it varies. If your research is mainly quantitative , you won’t include many quotes, but if it’s more qualitative , you may need to quote from the data you collected .

As a general guideline, quotes should take up no more than 5–10% of your paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.

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Different Ways on How to Introduce a Quote in an Essay

Wed Sep 22 2021

By nickdeda

Creating an excellent academic paper isn’t easy if you don’t quote sources. But if you intend to include someone else’s words in your text, you should do it properly. This includes using quotation marks, citing quoted information, and introducing quotes properly.  Introducing quotes is an excellent method of supporting your argument or strengthening your thesis statement, provided you offer sufficient analysis afterward. It also indicates how well you’ve done your homework and the extent of your topic research.

But what’s the significance of quotes, and how do you introduce a selection in a starter sentence? This quick guide shares details about introducing a quote to your academic essays.

How to Introduce Quotes in an Essay

You may use different approaches to introducing quotes in an essay. Here are the primary methods and how you can apply them in your text:

Block Quotes

If you’re going to include long quotations, you should use a block quote. You’ll introduce them with a colon, but you don’t need to have an entire sentence in this case. What’s more, your quoted text should be indented and start on a new line. Check out the example below.

Andronicus (1978) defines the mural this way:

The barely visible painting depicts three hunters with spears and five horsemen with dogs pursuing their prey, wild boars, and lions. This and three other paintings discovered in the adjacent tomb are among the few extant examples of fourth-century BC Greek frescoes. (page 72)

This emphasizes how important the discovery was…”

Block quotes are ideal for passages beyond four lines or 40 words. But the specific rules vary with your preferred referencing system, so be sure to confirm with your style guide.

If you’re quoting a researcher or critic, you may use an introductory phrase describing the source then a comma. Ensure the first letter is in upper case. MLA guidelines require you to use brackets to indicate that you’ve altered a letter case.

Here are some examples:

  • According to Kelly, “[C]yling is more fun” (304)
  • In Kelly’s words, “...

Short Quotations

An easy way to quote sources is working a brief passage (sometimes just one word) into your sentence:

The sacred burial ground was among archeology’s “most intriguing discoveries” (Andronicus, 1978, page 55)

From the quotation introduction example, the only requirement is using quotation marks and ensuring the quote aligns with the rest of the text. 

Quoting After a Comma

A common question among students is, “how do you transition to a quote after using a comma?”  It’s possible to introduce a critic’s statement using a descriptive verb, then a comma. In this format, your quoted text must follow from the previous phrase (mainly after words like ‘argues’ or ‘says’). However, don’t use the term ‘says’ unless the person initially spoke the words aloud. 

  • Jean remarks, “The story is amazing” (96).
  • Jean states, “...
  • Jean notes,
  • Jean observes, “...
  • Jean comments, “...
  • Jean concludes, “...
  • Jean maintains, “...
  • Jean reports, “...
  • Jean adds, “...

Notably, if your quote comes after the word ‘that,’ you don’t need a comma. 

Andronicus (1978) mentions that ‘The tomb could not have belonged to a commoner’ (page 73).

Always remember is punctuation difference when quoting sources in your essays. 

Quoting After a Colon

If your quoted source comes after a whole sentence, always use a colon to introduce it. 

Based on Philip II’s estimated date of demise, Andronicus (1978) strongly concludes: “This, in all probability, must be his tomb.’ (page 76.)

When you introduce the quotation using a colon, the preceding text must comprise a complete sentence. But the text after the colon may include a few words where necessary. 

Which Are the Best Words to Introduce a Quote

You can use numerous words to introduce a quote in an essay. Here are the best words to include when introducing a quote.

  • Conjectures
  • Acknowledges

How Do You Begin to Explain a Quote Without the Original Text?

When cutting out a non-essential component, use an ellipsis to replace it. Remember these rules when doing so:

  • Avoid an ellipsis if you’ll quote a brief phrase from the source
  • Never omit text if it’ll distort the quote’s original meaning
  • Include a period before the ellipsis when skipping one or more sentences

When altering your quotations, ensure you indicate what you’ve done. For instance, when you delete part of the text, replace the missing section with an ellipsis surrounded by spaces.

In his publication Stretch Through Generations, Danson states that “theories diversity ... makes a historian task very difficult” (111).

Furthermore, if the deleted information was between sentences, include a space after the period at the sentence conclusion, then ad an ellipsis. In total, you’ll have four periods.

How to Introduce a Quote from a Book Without Redundancy 

The essay’s objective is to show your grasp of the topic, and adding too many quotes in your text can shadow out your ideas. Therefore, consider quoting a passage if any of these conditions hold:

  • The passage’s language is particularly memorably, consequential, or elegant.
  • You want to confirm your argument’s credibility through authority support
  • The text demands further analysis
  • You need considerable detail to contest another person’s position

If a factual account or argument from your source is specific to your essay but doesn’t need to be verbatim, you may paraphrase it to convey the key points in great detail or summarize the relevant text.  Notably, scientific writing uses a summary instead of quotations. This also applies to social sciences writing relying on controlled studies.

If you’re still struggling to choose from the different ways to quote or are experiencing writing challenges, the best step is to seek professional help from our experienced tutors. This is your best shot at learning how to craft winning essays and introducing quotes to your text like a genius. 

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In most citation styles, including APA, MLA, and Chicago style, you can add variety to your research writing by not always using the same sentence structure to introduce quotations, paraphrases, or pieces of information borrowed from different sources. It is relatively simple to use a wide variety of different expressions to introduce both direct and indirect citations. These expressions, which usually occur in the parts of sentences that come just before quotes and paraphrases, are called signal phrases (or, in some cases,  lead-in phrases ). 

Often, signal phrases can be distinguished by the presence of a verb like "indicate" or "argue" that references what the author is doing in the original source. However, a few select signal phrases contain no verbs (e.g., "According to [author],").

In the examples below, the author being cited is Jane Doe. The examples in the first section are adapted to APA, which recommends past-tense verbs  in signal phrases. For MLA (as well as Chicago style), the same verbs can also be used in the present tense instead of the past tense, as the second section below shows. 

Be sure each signal phrase verb matches your intention for the in-text citation. Read the whole sentence after you finish to ensure that the signal phrase grammatically coheres with any content that follows the quote or paraphrase.

Expressing Disagreement with a Signal Phrase

Of course, some quotes and paraphrases express disagreement or negative opinions. In these cases, be sure that any verbs in the signal phrase match the nature of the quote or paraphrase. See the examples below.

Doe rejected  the claim that nature is more important than nurture.

Doe denied  the claim that nature is more important than nurture.

Doe refutes  the claim that nature is more important than nurture.

Doe disputes  the claim that nature is more important than nurture.

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How to introduce quotes in an essay?

Writing the perfect essay presents a number of challenges to writers. Coming up with a lot of original content can pose a challenge, as can keeping your material focused, engaging, and unique. There’s also the question of experience: many writers simply don’t have the life experiences or talents and skills needed to write an engaging and honest essay about the material they’ve selected as their subject matter. In order to get over these hurdles, writers might choose a number of different solutions. There’s the less popular and frowned upon plagiarism, which usually results from writers copying another person’s material either intentionally or inadvertently. There’s also the habit of creating disingenuous or flat out false material when you need to convey an idea but don’t know how to do so truthfully. However, the secret to writing a good essay is actually not in the quantity of original content a writer produces, but the quality of the writing sourced and offered. What does this mean? This means that writers can and should use quotations throughout their essays and other narrative writing in order to provide unique, compelling, and meaningful material without resorting to dubious writing techniques.

Using quotations in an essay can serve a number of different purposes. Many writers use quotes to bring in concepts or ideas originally presented by a different person. If the quotation furthers an argument or emphasizes a point the second writer is hoping to make, including a quote from another person serves to reinforce the idea without requiring the author to repeat themselves over and over again. They present a sort of social proof, a public affirmation that the idea the author has is substantial, innovative, and supported by other speakers. Leading the way with a quote in your essay, especially one by an inspirational or motivational figure, is a great way to set the tone for your essay and draw public attention to your content through the lens of a famous figure. Enhancing your credibility and strengthening your ideas through the words of another are useful skills for any writer to master. Quotations as a literary device are also good ways to break up the narrative structure of an essay. If you feel that you’re droning on and on and failing to keep your material innovative and fresh, introducing a quote can help dispel the monotony of your writing and draw your reader’s attention back to your original purpose. Finally, a featured quotation (whether by a famous figure or by the original writer itself) helps your piece stand out from the crowd. A single memorable quotation can do more to make the content and ideas of an essay last in the minds of its audience than an entire page of written content. By successfully utilizing the power of quotations throughout an essay, writers enhance their credibility and support their ideas, ensuring they stand out and remain in the hearts and minds of readers long after they’ve finished reading the essay.

However, writers need to be careful when it comes to including quotes in their work. It’s easy to plagiarize if you don’t know how to include quotes properly in your work. Plagiarism brings a whole host of other problems to writers, including copyright infringement, flagged work, and even removal (and potential lawsuits) regarding your content. Consider this example.

Let’s say that a young writer wants to quote a section of a book they’ve recently read in their assigned English essay. They copy and paste the material from the book to make sure they’ve got the content exactly right, and place it in the middle of their essay, something like this:

In Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, the Dursleys did not like Harry’s family very much. The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it. They didn’t think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters.

Such a sentence would immediately get flagged as plagiarized because the author has done nothing to indicate that someone else originally wrote the text of the book. The quote is presented as though it is the essay writer’s original thoughts, and a reader would not be able to tell that it is not original content.

Properly introducing a quote means that you can signify that the words you’re referencing are not your original content, but that they do bear some relevance to the remainder of your essay. In order to introduce a quote into your essay, you’ll need to remember the following things.

Cite Your Source

Knowing the true and authentic source of your original quotation is important because you’ll need to give them credit when you use their words. For example, in the paragraph above the essay writer could have said something like: “J.K. Rowling writes in her book, “The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it. They didn’t think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters.” By using both the name of the author and quotation marks, the essay writer is emphasizing that the quoted text is not their own and belongs to someone else but still gets to use it in their text.

Keep Length In Mind

Sometimes, the length of a quote isn’t always the best thing. When it comes to quotes, you need to be conscious that some readers simply don’t want to read a lengthy quotation from an author that isn’t even you. By including longer blocks of text, you make it less likely that the audience will read your quote in full and eliminate the necessity of including said quote in the first place. Generally, a good quote is between one to three sentences in length, although they can be longer or shorter.

Block or No Block?

Sometimes you may find yourself needing to quote a large chunk of text in your essay. Whether it’s to serve a narrative purpose or to outline a section of text you’ll be dissecting, including large blocks of text can be done, but they require special formatting in order to indicate that the entire length of the text is a quotation that is unoriginal. Known as a block quote, these lengthier quotations include any quote that is longer than three lines of typed text. The quote itself is turned into a miniature paragraph and formatted apart from the rest of the body of the essay to emphasize its difference. Consider this example:

In J.K. Rowling’s book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, it is clear from the first description of the Potter family that the Dursleys do not like the Potters.

The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it. They didn’t think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters. Mrs. Potter was Mrs. Dursley’s sister, but they hadn’t met for several years; in fact, Mrs. Dursley pretended she didn’t have a sister, because her sister and her good-for-nothing husband were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be. The Dursleys shuddered to think what the neighbors would say if the Potters arrived in the street.

Here, the block quote emphasizes the length and separateness of the text, making it obvious that the text is quoted but still including it together in its entirety in order to set it aside from the other lines.

Writers should try very hard to only introduce quotes that are relevant to the essay topic at hand. While it may be tempting to throw quotations into an essay whenever possible, having too many packed in at once can actually overwhelm the essay and drown out the original content the writer is trying to emphasize. Filter out unnecessary quotes by looking at the thesis statement of your essay and trying to make a direct connection between your quote and the thesis. If you’re unable to make a direct connection, that’s a good sign that your quote won’t add anything to the rest of your essay.

Once you’ve reviewed these qualifying factors to ensure that your quote is relevant, length-appropriate, and ready to be used in your essay, you will need to begin practicing naturally entering quotes into your essay. There are several major ways to do this.

Complete Sentence and Colon

You can enter quotes into an essay very easily by first prefacing them with a complete sentence and a colon. Perhaps the most popular way to introduce quotes, this method is standard for English writers but has a tendency to feel dry and rehearsed if you’re not careful. It’s important to make sure your complete sentence is well-written but not too long or too dense so you don’t overshadow your quote.

Example: The Dursleys did not like the Potters in the first Harry Potter book: “Mrs. Dursley pretended she didn’t have a sister.”

Example: The Dursleys were a content family: “the Dursleys had everything they wanted.”

Introductory or explanatory phrase separated by a comma

Another common way to introduce quotes into an essay, this method is favored because it allows authors to preface or explain the quote by adding context before or after the phrase being quoted. By including explanatory phrasing, the writer takes the guesswork out of the quote and provides valuable context that the reader may not have obtained otherwise.

Example: Petunia Dursley did not like her sister, “she pretended she didn’t have a sister.”

Example: The Potters did not fit in well with the Dursleys, “ they were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be.”

Blend the quotation into your own sentence without breaking up the flow of the quote

This method of quote introduction allows for the seamless integration of textual quotes without breaking up the narrative flow of an essay. By blending the quote right into your own sentence, you eliminate the need for extra or unnecessary explanatory phrases and introductory phrases that require extra context in order to be understood.

Example: The Potters were unusual people who were considered “as unDursleyish as it was possible to be”.

Example: The Dursleys “had a secret and their greatest fear was that” they were very afraid of people discovering the truth about them.

Shorten the quotation to just the bare essentials of your phrasing

By breaking down your quote into tidbits of information you’d like to convey, you remove the tiresome and draining extra content from your essay and focus the attention on the emotional focus quotes you’d like your audience to remember the most. This technique is also helpful for writers who want to discuss specific phrases or emotions expressed by the person they’re quoting but who can’t fit the entire quote in its original context into their essay.

Example: The Dursleys “had a secret” they didn’t want to tell anyone. Example: Mrs. Potter and Mrs. Dursley were estranged and hadn’t met in “several years.”

Including quotes in an essay can feel intimidating, but with patience and practice, even novice essay writers will recognize the value of including quotations in their work. From inspirational to practical, the usages of quotations in personal writing are infinite, and knowing how to appropriately enter and apply quotations in an essay improves your writing skills tenfold. By including a simple quote, writers can easily boost their credibility and support their argument, making their case compelling and their writing even more profound. In the words of the immortal writer Jack Kerouac, “someday I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay

Matt Ellis

Synthesis essays are common assignments in both high school and university, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy or that everyone knows how to write them. In this guide, we discuss everything you need to know in order to write one yourself. We talk about synthesis essay structure and offer some general tips, plus we clarify any confusion between a synthesis essay versus an argumentative essay.

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What is a synthesis essay?

A synthesis essay is a type of essay that combines points, data, and evidence from multiple sources and turns them into one idea that the writing revolves around. In other words, the writer synthesizes their own idea using other sources’ research and points. Usually, synthesis essays are a type of analytical essay , but they have crossover with other types of essays as well, such as argumentative essays .

The central idea in a synthesis essay is represented by the thesis statement , a sentence that succinctly explains the main point of the essay. In a synthesis essay, this “new” idea usually consolidates the main points and/or findings of other sources.

Synthesis essay structure

Creating a solid synthesis essay structure is one of the hardest parts of writing a synthesis essay. Unlike most other essay outlines , an outline for a synthesis essay has to include points from multiple sources, and such combinations don’t always have a logical or chronological sequence. To help you out, here are three strategies for creating a synthesis essay structure and sample outlines that you can use as templates.

Synthesis essay structure 1: By topic

The first kind of synthesis essay structure involves discussing each topic individually, mentioning each source’s perspective on it, and then moving on to the next topic. This approach lets you compare or join together points made by different sources about the same specific topic.

Structuring your synthesis essay by topic works best for more complicated ideas with different aspects that should be explored individually.

Example outline:

I. Introduction A. Thesis statement

II. Topic 1 A. Source A discussing Topic 1 1. A point or piece of evidence/data from Source A about Topic 1 2. Another point or piece of evidence/data from Source A about Topic 1 3. [Etc.]

B. Source B discussing Topic 1 1. A point or piece of evidence/data from Source B about Topic 1 2. [Etc.] 

III. Topic 2 A. Source A discussing Topic 2 B. [Etc.] 

IV. Topic 3 A. [Etc.]

[You can keep going like this with as many topics as you need.]

V. Conclusion A. Revisit thesis statement

Synthesis essay structure 2: By source

Alternatively, you can organize your synthesis essay structure by source: You discuss the main points of one source together and then move on to another source. This approach lets you compartmentalize the main points according to where they come from but ultimately bring together the main points from different sources.

Structuring your synthesis essay by source works best when you want to emphasize the sources themselves over the points they make. For example, if you were using this type of structure for an argumentative essay, you might want to fully discuss the source you’re refuting before making your counterargument.

II. Source 1 A. Source 1 discussing Topic A 1. A point or piece of evidence/data from Source 1 about Topic A 2. Another point or piece of evidence/data from Source 1 about Topic A 3. [Etc.]

B. Source 1 discussing Topic B 1. A point or piece of evidence/data from Source 1 about Topic B 2. [Etc.]

III. Source 2 A. Source 2 discussing Topic A B. Source 2 discussing Topic B C. [Etc.]

IV. Source 3 A. [Etc.]

[You can keep going like this for all your sources.]

V. Conclusion 1. Revisit thesis statement

Synthesis essay structure 3: Combine

The synthesis essay structures above are by no means set in stone. You’re free to adapt or modify them however you need and can even combine them.

For example, what if there’s a special source that stands out from the others? You could begin your synthesis essay by discussing each topic individually so that your reader understands the issue. Then you could switch it up and include a section just for that one special source, explaining that source’s stance on the previously discussed topics.

3 tips for writing a synthesis essay

1 come up with a strong thesis statement.

As mentioned above, a thesis statement is a single sentence that briefly explains the main point of your essay. In a synthesis essay, the thesis statement should effectively bring together the ideas and points from multiple other sources.

Part of writing a strong thesis statement comes from choosing your essay topic . Pick a topic that is broad enough to have sufficient research and enough other sources discussing it but specific enough that you can cover everything.

As for writing the actual thesis statement, a helpful method is to phrase your topic as a question and then answer it. The answer could be a good start to your thesis statement sentence. For example, let’s say your topic is how Denmark came to be first in clean energy. You could phrase the question and answer as:

Q: “Why is Denmark the leading country in renewable energy?”

A: “Denmark is first in clean energy thanks in part to energy conservation from district heating, combined heat-and-power stations, and its use of small, locally based power plants instead of larger ones.”

That answer could double as your thesis statement and mentions some of the other types of sources you use in your essay.

2 Read all the sources carefully

A synthesis essay is only as good as its sources. The nature of a synthesis essay is to build on its sources, so you need to choose the best ones and understand each of them thoroughly.

Make sure you comb through your sources so you don’t miss a good point or piece of evidence you could use in your essay. It helps to come up with your thesis statement early on so you can look for points related to it when you’re reading.

3 Write a gripping introduction

One of the keys to any good essay, synthesis or not, is a strong opening. This is partially determined by your thesis statement, but the other sentences in your introduction also make a big impact.

For starters, you can learn how to write a hook . In writing, a hook is something that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to keep reading. Hooks can essentially be anything interesting. Some common strategies for writing hooks include using personal anecdotes to create an emotional connection or providing exciting facts/statistics that the reader might not know.

Additionally, the introduction should also explain the scope of your topic and set the scene for people who aren’t familiar with it. The goal of the introduction is to prepare the reader for what follows so that afterward you can transition straight into making your points.

Synthesis essay vs. argumentative essay

Synthesis essays are often compared to argumentative essays, which attempt to refute, debunk, or criticize existing ideas or other research. The truth is that the two are not mutually exclusive. Although synthesis essays tend to be analytical or expository, they can also be argumentative.

A synthesis essay is any essay that combines ideas from multiple sources to create a new unified idea. If that new idea is a rebuttal to a preexisting idea and the entire essay is written as a critique, then the essay would be both synthesis and argumentative.

Synthesis essay FAQs

A synthesis essay is a type of essay that combines points, data, and evidence from multiple sources and turns them into one unified idea. In other words, the writer synthesizes their own idea using other sources’ research and ideas.

What is a good synthesis essay structure?

Traditionally, the common approaches to creating a synthesis essay structure are organizing by topic or organizing by source. The former means you discuss each source’s perspective on a topic before moving to the next topic; the latter means you discuss one source’s stance on each topic and then move to another source. You can also create a hybrid structure of the two for particular subjects.

What is the difference between a synthesis essay and an argumentative essay?

Synthesis essays are often contrasted with argumentative essays, but the truth is that the two are not mutually exclusive. For example, an argumentative essay can use the format of a synthesis essay—combining points from multiple sources to form a new unified idea—in order to refute a preexisting idea.

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  1. How To Introduce A Quote

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  2. How to introduce a quote from a story

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  3. How To Introduce Quotes / 3 Ways To Lead Into A Quote Wikihow : The

    introducing quotes in essays

  4. How to introduce a quote into a speech

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  5. Words To Introduce A Quote

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  6. How To Introduce A Quote In An Essay

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  1. Voltaire

  2. Introducing Skimmer Quotes!

  3. Quote like a Pro: Master Academic writing (BIGGEST TIP AT THE END)

  4. 10 best quotations about an essay Courtesy

  5. महिला को क्या दे की खुश रहेगी

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COMMENTS

  1. Suggested Ways to Introduce Quotations

    Learn how to quote another writer's words in an essay with different ways to introduce quotations. The examples use MLA format and show how to cite the source, use a colon, a phrase, a verb, or a comma to introduce a quote.

  2. Who Said What? Introducing and Contextualizing Quotations

    Learn how to introduce and contextualize quotations in academic writing from literary analyses to scientific research papers. Find tips on signal phrases, signal words, and signal clauses to make your quotations clear and effective. See examples of signal phrases and signal clauses in different contexts and citation styles.

  3. How to Introduce Quotes in Academic Writing

    Learn how to quote sources in academic writing with different methods, such as short and long quotations, quotation marks, colons, commas, and block quotes. Find out the rules and tips for using quotation marks, colons, commas, and block quotes in your essay.

  4. Using Quotations

    Fair-Use Policy How much should I quote? The focus of your essay should be on your understanding of the topic. If you include too much quotation in your essay, you will crowd out your own ideas. Consider quoting a passage from one of your sources if any of the following conditions holds:

  5. How to Put a Quote in an Essay (with Pictures)

    1 Incorporating a Short Quote 2 Using a Long Quote + Show 2 more... Other Sections Questions & Answers Video References Article Summary Co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA Last Updated: November 28, 2022 Fact Checked

  6. PDF Introducing and Explaining Quotes from the OWL at Purdue

    quotations means —either in a general sense or in the context of your argument. Here are some templates for explaining quotations: Templates for Explaining Quotations In other words, X asserts _____. In arguing this claim, X argues that _____. X is insisting that _____. What X really means is that _____.

  7. Quotations

    "At the beginning of World War Two, almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly." If it is especially important that you formulate a counterargument to this claim, then you might wish to quote the part of the statement that you find questionable and establish a dialogue between yourself and John Doe:

  8. Phrases for Introducing Sources and Quotations

    Introducing Quotations These phrases alert your reader that you are about to quote directly from another source. As with the phrases above, some are quite neutral, while others allow you to imply things about the quote's tone, similarity, contrast, and/or significance in relation to other sources or to your larger argument. X states, " [blank] ."

  9. Introducing Quotations and Paraphrases

    to introduce an author's position you may wish to discuss to provide evidence for your own writing to make a clear distinction between the views of different authors to make a clear distinction between an author's views and your own Introductory phrases Use introductory phrases to tell the reader what the author thinks or does in their text.

  10. Essay Tips: Introducing Quotations

    Essay Tips: Introducing Quotations. It'd be hard to write a good essay without quoting sources. But if you're going to use someone else's words, you need to do it properly. This includes citing quoted text and using quote marks, as well as making sure that quotations are introduced properly.To help out, we've prepared this quick guide to introducing quotations in an essay.

  11. Using Quotations in Essays

    A good quotation should do one or more of the following: Make an opening impact on the reader Build credibility for your essay Add humor Make the essay more interesting Close the essay with a point to ponder upon If the quotation does not meet a few of these objectives, then it is of little value.

  12. Using Literary Quotations

    Within a literary analysis, your purpose is to develop an argument about what the author of the text is doing—how the text "works.". You use quotations to support this argument. This involves selecting, presenting, and discussing material from the text in order to "prove" your point—to make your case—in much the same way a lawyer ...

  13. Words that introduce Quotes or Paraphrases

    Words that introduce Quotes or Paraphrases are basically three keys verbs: Neutral Verbs ( here) Stronger Verbs ( here) Inference Verbs ( here) Neutral Verbs: When used to introduce a quote, the following verbs basically mean "says" Examples of Neutral Verbs The author says. The author notes. The author believes. The author observes.

  14. Introducing quotations

    Deciding the appropriate verb tense usually comes down to using the one that best reflects the time period of the action described in the text.. Present or Past Tense in Signal Phrases. The choice of using present or past tense in signal phrases for paraphrases or quotations largely depends on the discipline in which authors are writing or the style guide they're following.

  15. How To Use Quotes in Essays and Speeches

    If you're considering incorporating a quote into your essay or speech, you're about to make a wise decision. ... Introduce your quote - If your quote isn't from a well-known figure, introduce the person you're quoting. For example, cite their years in the industry or mention their contribution to the topic at hand. Then, use their quote to ...

  16. How to Quote

    Learn how to quote and cite sources correctly in different citation styles, such as APA, MLA, and Chicago. Find out how to introduce quotes in your own words, show the context, and avoid plagiarism. See examples of quotes within quotes and how to cite them.

  17. PDF Words to Introduce Quotations

    You may use direct quotations objectively to introduce an author, or you can spice it up and introduce the quotation with a more explanatory word meant to describe your opinions about the author in question. A more expressive word, used correctly, can add emphasis and meaning to a paper.

  18. PDF Effective Verbs for Introducing Quotations

    Courtesy of the James A. Glenn Writing Center, Xavier University, Spring 2013 Effective Verbs for Introducing Quotations Oftentimes in academic writing, you decide to use outside sources to enhance your argument and make it credible. It can be a challenge to insert these sources smoothly without taking away from your voice as a writer.

  19. Different Ways on How to Introduce a Quote in an Essay

    Introducing quotes is an excellent method of supporting your argument or strengthening your thesis statement, provided you offer sufficient analysis afterward. It also indicates how well you've done your homework and the extent of your topic research. But what's the significance of quotes, and how do you introduce a selection in a starter sentence?

  20. How to Introduce a Quote ⇒ Tips on Using Quotations

    Learn the methods of introducing your quote in an essay, such as using a complete sentence, integrating the quote with your own words, or using an introductory word or phrase. Find out the punctuation rules, the best quote starters, and the APA and MLA Style guides for citation.

  21. Signal and Lead-in Phrases

    In most citation styles, including APA, MLA, and Chicago style, you can add variety to your research writing by not always using the same sentence structure to introduce quotations, paraphrases, or pieces of information borrowed from different sources.

  22. PPTX How to Insert Quotes into a Literary Essay

    How to Insert Quotes into a Literary Essay In ENG 201, students must incorporate at least two direct quotes from the work of literature they are discussing into the of the first and final essay drafts. The use of quotes helps support your thesis and adds interest and vitality to your essay. There is a special art to incorporating quotations.

  23. How to introduce quotes in an essay?

    Properly introducing a quote means that you can signify that the words you're referencing are not your original content, but that they do bear some relevance to the remainder of your essay. In order to introduce a quote into your essay, you'll need to remember the following things. Cite Your Source

  24. How to Write a Synthesis Essay, WIth Examples

    Structuring your synthesis essay by topic works best for more complicated ideas with different aspects that should be explored individually. Example outline: I. Introduction A. Thesis statement . II. Topic 1 A. Source A discussing Topic 1 1. A point or piece of evidence/data from Source A about Topic 1 2.

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