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How To Quote In An Essay Correctly

Academic papers require quotations to support the research and analysis of a particular subject matter. Knowing how to quote a book in an essay is quite challenging for most students. The quote must be accurate and relevant to your research to achieve effectiveness. Thus, ensure you include a good quote with supportive elements in your opinion and cite it appropriately as per the required formatting style.

Quotations are repetitions of words from original authors in published documents that students use in research papers. You need to use quotation marks to specify the author’s statements you want to use in your paper. 

There are 2 types of quotations that you can use in your research paper:

  1. Short Quote

It entails a brief sentence, four typed lines or less, that you can add to your paper with your words. To make it more logical, incorporate the quote in a sentence instead of directly copying it from the author as an independent sentence and using it on your paper. 

  1. Long Quote

This quote comprises more than four typed lines. The writer incorporates a long quote as a stand-alone paragraph without including quotation marks. It is also known as a direct quote, and you must add a reference to the original source at the end of the paper.

Understanding how to cite a quote in an essay is crucial in achieving a persuasive paper that will score you impressive grades. This article aims to help you gain more knowledge on incorporating and citing quotations.

 Why And When Do I Need To Quote?

Quotations are essential in academic writing since they emphasize the credibility of your research. When writing various research papers, tutors often assess the use of quotes to gauge students’ knowledge of particular subject disciplines. Moreover, identifying an original source makes your research thoughtful and exciting to the target audience while demonstrating your writing skills. 

However, you must incorporate the quotes properly to avoid mistakes such as plagiarism, overuse, and irrelevant quotes

You should use a quote in the below circumstances:

  • When the language is memorable or powerful in the passage. 
  • If you want to emphasize and confirm whether your arguments are credible.
  • When your arguments require further investigation.
  • If you aim to expound your arguments against an opposing side in detail.

When To Opt For Paraphrasing Or Summarizing

However, you may opt to summarize or paraphrase a source rather than quoting. Including relevant quotes supports your thesis and affirms authority regarding the subject. Thus, apart from quoting, you can also paraphrase or summarize your paper.

ParaphrasingSummarizing
Entails rewriting another author’s ideas and crafting in a unique voice. You can paraphrase to avoid quotations and if you need specificity on your paper.Occurs when a writer decides to reduce words in an essay. The summarized text contains only significant points relevant to the theme. Summarizing is essential when you want to identify crucial points in a long paper or when you want to establish a subject overview.

How To Introduce A Quotation

Students must know how to introduce a quote in an essay. Quotes allow the audience to understand your perspective further and to strengthen your research. You need to find a logical approach to present your quote. Short quotes require an introduction, making the readers understand the line of thought. 

Specific words to use in an introduction: 

ArguesDemonstratesConcludes
ExplainsRevealsStates
SuggestsClaimsInsists

Examples:

The way you quote depends on the referencing style of your institution. For example, MLA referencing requires an indication of the author and page number: 

Current research shows that dreams can influence an individual’s personality. Foulkes’s study explains how dreams might express “Profound aspects of personality” (184).

Quoting in APA style follows an author-date citation style like this

Sedentary lifestyles contribute to various illnesses that also affect mental health. McKinney’s (2019) research suggests, “Regular yoga practice lowers blood pressure, enhances better sleep, and reduces frustrations” (p. 25). 

Adding an introduction before a quote depends on whether the quotation is long or short. Short quotes require a brief introduction to allow the reader to follow your point. It is also necessary to know how to quote someone in an essay, for instance, the author’s name. Quoting the author leads the reader to understand the origin of the support.

Short Quotation

Short quotes are usually four typed lines or less. It is better to incorporate a short quote into your sentence rather than using it as a lone sentence. 

You can include the author’s name as the quote’s source and the page number in the sentence with the quote. In the reference section, cite the complete source as per the required academic standard, whether it is MLA or APA format. 

Below are ways to incorporate short quotes in an essay:

  • Add quotation marks at the beginning and end of the quote.

Example:

The tomb still remains one of the “most intriguing discoveries” (Andronicus, 1978) in Archeology as more researchers conduct further investigations. 

In this example, the quotation marks reveal the quote in the sentence, which flows naturally in the context.

  • Add quote after a colon.

Here, you can incorporate a quote after a sentence by introducing a colon.

Example: 

With regard to the date projected of Philip II Death, Andronicus (1978) concludes: “This, in all probability, must be his tomb” (p.76).

In this approach, the colon and quote come after a full sentence.

  • Add quote after a comma.

The writer can incorporate specific phrases such as “argues” or “says” with a comma.

Example:

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

However, writers can eliminate the comma and use “that.”

Example:

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

Therefore, ensure you know how to quote an article in an essay to follow the proper academic formatting guidelines.

Long Quotation

As mentioned above, long quotes comprise more than four typed lines and are usually in block sentences. Since they are separate from your paragraphs, they don’t require quotation marks for identification. But you have to include a proper citation in the reference section.

There are several ways to introduce long quotations in your essay:

  • Write an introduction.

Compose a small introduction to lead your readers in understanding the long quote. After the last sentence in the introduction, enter a colon.

Example:

Henry David argued that men in Walden who over-work with labor could experience dehumanization. They need time to learn themselves and grow as mature humans:

(Block quote)

He has no time to be anything but a machine… (Followed by the entire quote)

The introduction improves your essay analysis and demonstrates your comprehension of the academic source. However, you must further support the long quote with an extensive breakdown. Don’t depend on the quote to explain your arguments. 

  • Indent the quote.

Move the quote inside using the tab key to indent the passage. It gives a clear-cut distinction between your paragraphs and the block quotation. The indent allows the readers to distinguish the quotes from the main text.

  • Use an ellipsis.

Writers often use an ellipsis to remove words from a text using dots (…). You can use an ellipsis to reduce the long quote and only use the relevant section in the essay. However, avoid reducing words to alter the original meaning. Students who don’t know how to cite a quote from a book in an essay can take advantage of the ellipsis to incorporate long quotes with ease.

 Provide Analysis After a Quote

Students should learn how to properly cite a quote in an essay since it is part of the academic requirements. After incorporating a quote, ensure you follow it up with a few comments to support the author. Quotes require the writer’s comment to expound on the argument. Hence, after a quote, you can write specific phrases before commenting. For instance, “it shows, it reveals, it demonstrates,” etc.

Example:

McKinney’s (2019) research suggests, “Regular yoga practice lowers blood pressure, enhances better sleep, and reduces frustrations” (p. 25). This statement reveals that yoga has numerous health benefits and improves a person’s well-being. 

Ultimately, you need to know how to explain a quote in an essay to prove your knowledge and understanding of the subject. It also brings your readers to your perspective about the particular topic.

Punctuation Rules

Understanding how to quote a website or a book in an essay is mandatory. You must incorporate proper punctuation marks. Wrong punctuations often result in missed marks due to substandard papers. 

 Below are punctuation rules you must follow to achieve a persuasive paper:

  • Keep punctuation marks that were already on a quote. If you add yours, enclose them in brackets.
  • Do not add a full stop before quotation marks at the end.

AVOID: Foulkes’s study explains how dreams might express “Profound aspects of personality” (184).

  • Footnotes go outside while the full stop stays inside the quote marks.

… Profound aspects of personality.” 1

  • The author’s exclamation and question marks stay inside the quotation marks. If they are not, you place them outside.
  • If you want to place quotations in a quotation, incorporate single quotation marks.

Here is a brief quoting guide for those new to essay writing and citing. Use these tips to excel in writing, and your grades are sure to rise exponentially day by day.