When writing a response to a literature essay or a research essay, it
is absolutely essential to include quotations. No matter how brilliant
your paper, both of these types of essays are incomplete without quotations.
Quotations serve as evidence to the claims you are making in your
paper, and illustrate and support your main points. Any time you use
someone else’s words or ideas, you must give credit to that person,
whether you quote directly, summarize, or paraphrase. If you do not
give credit to your sources, it is considered plagiarism, which earns you a failing grade on your paper.
*Finally, you must explain the significance of the quotation you have
chosen even if it is obvious to you, or the reader will be left
wondering why you chose that quotation in the first place.
There are several different methods of incorporating quotations
into your essay.To illustrate, here are several ways to incorporate the
quotation “Many writers omit or improperly use quotations in their essays.”
1. Paraphrase (Indirect quotation)—using different words to express the same idea; do not use quotation marks at all
• Teachers and professors alike find that many students often misuse quotations in their papers.
2.Direct phrase or word quotation— using only one or a few words; use quotation marks around those words only
• Many teachers find that their students “omit or improperly use” quotes when writing papers.
3.MLA author/page citation—author and page in parenthesis
• “Many writers omit or improperly use quotations in their essays” (Watson 43).
4.Full sentence quotation with he/she said before the quotation; place comma before the quotation mark
• Watson claims, “Many writers omit or improperly use quotations in their essays.”
5.Full sentence quotation with he/she said after the quotation; comma replaces period at the end of the quote.
• “Many writers omit or improperly use quotations in their essays,” he argued.
6.Full sentence quotation with he/she said dividing the quotation; commas separate the quote.
• “Many writers,” he admitted, “omit or improperly use quotations in their essays.”
7.Full sentence quotation with he/she said that at the beginning of the quotation; the word that takes the place of the comma
• He affirmed that “Many writers omit or improperly use quotations in their essays.”
8.Full sentence quotation with full sentence introduction to quotation; use a colon before the quote
• Scholars have proven with scientific evidence: “Many writers omit or improperly use quotations in their essays.”
9.Omitting words within a quotation; use the ellipses between (. . .)
• “Many writers . . . use quotations in their essays.”
10.Adding or changing words within a quote; use brackets to set off the change
• “Many writers [often] omit or improperly use quotations in their essays.”
Additional Information about Quotations
1. Plays, novels, long poems, website titles, magazine titles, movie titles, and books should be italicized or underlined.
· The Canterbury Tales
· Shakespeare in Love
2. Articles, chapter titles, song titles, poems, short stories, and essays should be punctuated with quotation marks.
· Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic”
· Yezierska’s “America and I”
· Langston Hughes’s “I, Too”
3. As a rule, anyone you do not personally know should be referred to by their LAST name—not the