The use of quotes in your academic papers offers an effective wayto back up all major ideas with enough evidence and make yourargument stronger. Besides, quotes in essays help you support athesis statement or the chosen topic. If you want your piece ofwriting to look professional, you need to understand how to writea quote in an essay, no matter whether teachers ask you to useAPA or MLA formatting rules. If you use quotes without givingcredit to their original authors, you will face plagiarism and anumber of relevant issues (they can be quite serious).
In addition to placing quotes in your paper, it’s necessary toprovide a special reference page at the end. Learning how to putdifferent quotes in academic assignments in an important skillthat can help you earn better marks and achieve your educationalsuccess. There are some basic rules and useful guidelines thatwill make citing quotes in your essays a less tricky, complex,and confusing process.
How much do you need to quote?
The main focus of your academic paper is always a perfectunderstanding of the given subject. When including too manyquotes in your essay, you will only crowd it with differentideas. Think about quoting a suitable passage from one of yourreliable sources of information if the following requirements aremet:
- It’s worthy of your further analysis;
- Its language is powerful, elegant, and memorable;
- Confirming the credibility of your arguments by enlisting thesupport of authority on the chosen topic;
- Arguing with other positions in considerable detail.
If arguments and factual accounts from used sources are relevantto your essay, but they don’t deserve to be quoted, think aboutthe following solutions:
- Summarizing relevant passages if you want to sketch its majorpoints;
- Paraphrasing them if you prefer to convey these points at thesame level of detail.
Keep in mind that academic writing often relies on a summaryinstead of a quote, and this rule is applied to differentsciences because they are based on controlled studies andquantifiable results.
Why do you need to identify used sources?
All quotes come from other sources, and readers want to knowthem. That’s why you shouldn’t place them into your essay withoutgiving any indication of where you take quotes. Let the audienceknow which authorities you rely on because this method offers agreat advantage. The main reason is that it proves that you’vedone your research and you’re well acquainted with literature onthe given topic.
When making any decision about how to use quotes in your academicpapers, imagine yourself reading them out loud to the targetedaudience. It’s impossible to read parenthetical notes this way.Without any introduction, people can’t determine that yourstatement is a quote and where it comes from.
Correctly placed quotes add more detail and power to your writingand putting powerful expert observations in the right place willmake it shine. Avoid letting improper formatting distract yourreaders. Remember that the right format of quotes and citationsmay differ based on the chosen style, such as APA or MLA.However, general principles apply to any formatting style forquotes in essays.
Format all quotes in your essay
End and start all short quotes with double quotation marks andavoid leaving any space between quotation marks and your text.Put only exact words from used sources and punctuation insidethese marks. You should separate the lines of poetry with aspace, forward slash, and another space. Those quotes that arelonger than 4 lines of prose and 3 lines of poetry should beformatted as the block ones. It’s necessary to use a colon at theend of each phrase that leads to quotes. Start them with a newline, ident them 1 inch farther than your text, and avoid usingspecial quotation marks.
Citing quotes in essays using MLA guidelines
The MLA format of writing requires students to cite page numbersand author names when citing quotes in their academic papers.When citing poetry, you need to cite the lines of poetry insteadof any page numbers. You aren’t required to provide any year, butyou need to do that in a reference page of your essay.
Citing short quotes
Short quotes are anything fewer than 3 lines of poetry and 4lines of prose. If you have the quotes that meet this basicrequirement, all you need to do is to:
- Enclose them with double quotation marks;
- Write authors’ names;
- Provide page numbers.
Basically, you can introduce author’s names before your quotes orplace them in parentheses after quotes. It’s possible to writepage numbers at the end too, but be sure to introduce your quoteswith some text. Otherwise, your readers will fail to be orientedwithout any introduction, so use several words to achieve thisgoal before using quotation marks. After that, you need to citepage numbers and authors’ names in parentheses and put a periodat the end of this sentence.
Feel free to introduce author’s names right in the text insteadof putting them in parentheses at the end. You can introducequotes, cite them, and leave your comments on them too. If thereare any punctuation marks in original quotes, include them incitations. When citing poetry, you need to cite the lines used bya poem.
Citing long prose quotes
Long quotes are anything that contains 3 lines of poetry and 4lines of prose. If you need to use them, put such quotes in afree-standing block of text without any quotation marks. You caneasily introduce your quotes with a colon and a line of text byindenting only their first line by 1 inch from the left whileusing double spacing. End long quotes with correct punctuationand use page numbers and authors’ names in parentheses afterthem. When you need to cite a few paragraphs at once, use specialblock quotes, even if every passage from these paragraphs is lessthan 4 lines long. Indent the first line of every paragraph anadditional quarter inch and use ellipses at the end to smoothlytransition to the next one.
Other important citing rules
If you want to cite poems or their parts in your essay, stick tothe original format of poetry lines to convey their originalmeaning. Omit or add words in quotes because this technique canbe helpful if you only need to slightly change their meaning forthe context of your paper or if you want to omit some detailsthat are irrelevant to its main point. Use brackets to write inyour own data to help the audience to get the context of quotes.It’s also advisable to use ellipses to omit any parts of quotesif they aren’t needed for your academic paper. When you want tocite quotes with multiple authors, all you need to do is toseparate their names by commas. Many students agree that it canbe a bit tricky to cite quotes from the Internet as it’simpossible to find any page numbers. When using such quotes, youstill need to gather as much information as you can, includingauthors, titles, and dates.
Citing quotes in essays using APA guidelines
In the APA format, you should put page numbers and authors’names, just like according to MLA formatting. The main differenceis that you also need to put the year. When citing any shortquotes (they contain less than 40 words), it’s required toinclude the year, page numbers, and authors’ last names in thequotation. When citing long quotes in this format, you need toplace them in a special free-standing block of text. Start eachquote in a new line, indent it half of an inch from the left, andtype it in the same margin. When your quotes have multipleparagraphs, feel free to indent the first line an extra half ofan inch from a new margin. Be sure to keep double spacingthroughout such quotes, citing them in parenthesis after finalpunctuation. This rule is also applied for shorter quotes placedin your essay because you need to cite the year, authors’ names,and page numbers somewhere (no matter if it’s their main body orintroduction).
When paraphrasing any quote in this format, refer to its year ofpublication, author, and page number where readers can find it.When putting any quotes in your essays that have multipleauthors, all you need to do is to use the ampersand to combinethe last names of authors in their alphabetical order. Whenciting any quotes that you take from the Internet, do your bestto find such basic information as their dates, authors’ names,and paragraph numbers. If you can’t find any author’s name,you’re allowed to use its title instead. In addition, if you haveany hardships when citing quotes in your essay, don’t hesitate toget help.
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