Block quoting is most common in literary research, where detailed analysis of the original text requires you to quote at length. Tolkien, , p. If you want to quote a passage that contains another quote, the quotation marks inside the passage become single instead of double. Note that, in UK English , the convention is the other way round: single quotation marks are standard, while double quotation marks are used for quotes inside quotes. The convention for indirect citing depends on the citation style.
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- When should I quote??
In academic papers and essays, you should avoid relying too heavily on quotes. This shows that you have fully understood the text and ensures your own voice is dominant. If you want to comment on how the author uses language for example, in papers about literature, linguistics, communication and media , it is necessary to quote so that the reader can see the exact passage you are referring to.
You are writing a paper about the novels of a modernist author. You will have to quote frequently from the novels in order to analyze their language and style. Quotes from primary sources for example, interview transcripts or historical documents are especially credible as evidence.
You are working on a paper about the causes of a historical event, and you have studied documents and letters written at the time. You can quote from these sources as evidence in support of your argument. You can quote to show that your point is supported by an authority on the topic, or to critique a position that you disagree with.
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 impact, it could be worth quoting directly.
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Your interpretation of survey data is supported by a well-known theory on your topic. You find a sentence that perfectly sums up the theory, so you quote the author before elaborating on your understanding of the theory. In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quotes should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.
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When the quoted material flows directly from your introductory text, no punctuation should be used before the quotation. A very short quotation may also be introduced without punctuation. The unpunctuated lead-in is most commonly used with run-in quotations, but it is also appropriate for introducing block quotations that flow directly from the introductory text.
When a run-in quotation contains quotation marks within the quoted material itself, use single quotation marks in their place.
How to write a quote
When the material being quoted contains a quotation within a quotation i. Quotation marks can be used when referring to a specific word or letter. Some writers instead use italics for this purpose, as I have in this guide. As an alternative to parentheses , quotation marks can be used to enclose a translation. In this case, it is necessary to set the translation off with commas.
How to Quote a Quote?
Less commonly, single quotation marks are used in place of parentheses, in which case the translation is not set off with commas. Also, any punctuation otherwise required by the structure of the sentence is placed outside the single quotation marks. You can use ellipses to cut some things out of a direct quote, but even that should be done sparingly.
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In news, accuracy and proper context are paramount, and you don't want to look like you're doctoring the source's words. Share Flipboard Email.
Richard Nordquist is a freelance writer and former professor of English and Rhetoric who wrote college-level Grammar and Composition textbooks. The exception is when the source is so eloquent or so peculiar that you really need to share the original language with your readers.
In the humanities, direct quoting is more important—certainly where you are talking about a literary source. Continue Reading.