NOTES ON QUOTING IN LIT. PAPERS


WHY QUOTE?

 

Quote when the quoted language is important to your point and when it says what you mean better than you could say it in a paraphrase. But do not quote so often that the quotes crowd out your own words. Also avoid long quotes in a short paper because they make us think that you have nothing to say. In sum, quote judiciously. For excellent examples, go to Quotes as Evidence .



HOW DO I QUOTE?

 

Remember the 3 STEPS when quoting:



Don’t just insert into your writing a reference to lines in the work without quoting or paraphrasing them.  Do quote the lines or paraphrase them in your own words.  The reader shouldn’t have to go to the text you’re discussing to understand what you are referring to.


Be sure that your quote is either a complete sentence or that you make it a complete sentence with your own words before or after it. Reread a sentence containing a quote to make sure it is smooth, clear, and grammatical. For good examples of how to fix ungrammatical quotes, go to Grammatical Quotes

Punctuate quotes properly. Use double quotation marks around the exact words you are quoting and single quotation marks (the hyphen on your keyboard) for a quote inside your quote. Put all commas and periods at the ends of quotes inside the quotation marks. Use an ellipsis (3 dots, no more) to indicate where you have omitted words in the middle of a quote. Don’t use an ellipsis at the start or end of a quote. For a fuller explanation and excellent examples, go to Punctuating Quotes.