Using quotations in essays mla

Note, for example, that if you are using the MLA system of referencing, a sentence always ends after the parenthetical reference. Note that the technique used here is to cite frequently, though briefly, to build the quotations into the writer's own sentences, and to use whatever arrangement of the material best supports the writer's argument. VirtualSalt Home
Copyright 2001, 2008, 2012 by Robert Harris How to cite this page
w w w. For example, Joe's Text:
I live in the country where life is slow and soft.
Your quotation:
Joe believes that life is slow and soft in the country ( Living Easy 288). Or, Boz's Text:
Sally, I love the delicious metaphors you make.
Your quotation:
Boz tells Sally that he loves the delicious metaphors she makes (433). (Note: At the beginning of The Five Orange Pips, for example, Watson notes that this adventure is one of the many which present strange and interesting features, because it is so remarkable in its details and so startling in its results (Doyle 100). Parenthetical material goes inside the punctuation mark. Here are three common phrasings: Vary the way you introduce quotations to avoid sounding monotonous.

Example text:
Rule 5 says, Sometimes you will want to leave out some words.. 6. Basically, the order is: Book
Lastname, Firstname. The Book Title. City: Discuss your quotations. But the introduction alone is not enough. Make sure that the nuance matches your specific aims in introducing the quotation. There are other ways to begin quotations. For example, do not write, The period before the closing quotation mark must go: However, if you are using footnotes, the period remains inside the quotation mark, while the footnote number goes outside: In Canada and the United States, commas and periods never go outside a quotation mark. Hence it is a good idea to avoid ending a paragraph with a quotation. Using quotations in essays mla. For example:
a. It is obvious from the fragmentary nature of the quoted phrase that the quoter has omitted words before and after the phrase. )5. Never make up page numbers for a Web site. Name the author, give his or her credentials, name the source, give a summary. C o m The same is true of writing in those social sciences—such as experimental psychology—that rely on controlled studies and emphasize quantifiable results. (Almost all of the examples in this handout follow the MLA system of citation, which is widely used in the humanities and in those social sciences with a less quantitative approach. )Visit our handout on. Quotations come from somewhere, and your reader will want to know where. If your quotation is longer than four lines, do not place it in quotation marks. Do not quote someone and then leave the words hanging as if they were self explanatory. They are not substitutes for your ideas and they do not stand by themselves. It is often useful to apply some interpretive phrasing after a quotation, to show the reader that the you are explaining the quotation and that it supports your argument: Note that the particular verb you choose helps orient your reader toward your opinion of the statement. Jones says is neutral; Jones informs us is positive, Jones alleges is somewhat negative. Never allow the quotation to do your work for you. Article date. Other verbs to choose from include: Or Kumquat4. Mid-sentence ellipses use three spaced dots. 1. A felicitously worded or an authoritative quotation can, on occasion, nicely clinch an argument. There is some flexibility in the rule that block quotations are for passages of four lines or more: Do not write, Square brackets allow you to absorb Gertrude s words into your own statement: Alternatively, you can include Gertrude s original phrasing in its entirety as long as the introduction to the quotation is not fully integrated with the quotation. For example, when you are quoting two or more lines of poetry, you will probably want to display the verse as it appears on the page: If you choose to integrate verse into your own sentence, then use a slash surrounded by spaces to indicate line breaks: If you need to alter your quotations in any way, be sure to indicate just how you have done so. Example text:
The surf on the beach at Mazatlan beat against the shore.
Your quotation:
Smith says of his wave watching, The surf.. They are always absorbed as part of the quotation, whether they belong to you or to the author you are quoting: However, stronger forms of punctuation such as question marks and exclamation marks go inside the quotation if they belong to the author, and outside if they do not: Finally, use single quotation marks for all quotations within quotations: Without some sort of introduction, your audience would not even know that the statement about Roman antiquity was a quotation, let alone where the quotation came from. The following offers just one way of introducing the above quotation: Since the quotation is relatively short, the brief introduction works. You could, however, strengthen your analysis by demonstrating the significance of the passage within your own argument. The focus of your essay should be on your understanding of the topic. Example:
The forest is variously described as marvelous (34), fun (98), and dramatic (39). Compare punctuation without and with parenthetical material:
John records that all things were made through him..
John records that all things were made through him.. (John 1: 3). (Note that the period has moved from next to the last letter of the sentence to behind the right parenthesis mark. )7.

The introduction can be an independent clause: Or it can be an incomplete sentence: You must preserve the punctuation of a quoted passage, or else you must enclose in square brackets any punctuation marks that are your own. There is, however, one important exception to this rule. Weaving the phrases of others into your own prose offers a stylistically compelling way of maintaining control over your source material. You may need to do so to ensure that your sentences are fully grammatical. A quotation should never suddenly appear out of nowhere. In an article in Time Fred Jackson writes that frogs vary in the degree of shyness they exhibit: The arboreal tree frogs seem to be especially.. 2. When you introduce a quotation with a full sentence, you should always place a colon at the end of the introductory sentence. Date of access URL in angle brackets. Example
Harris, Robert. Using Quotations Effectively. VirtualSalt. com. 27 Nov. 2012. 4 July 2013. Note: For Web articles, omit information not available, such as author, article date, site name, etc. Consider quoting a passage from one of your sources if any of the following conditions holds: Condition 3 is especially useful in essays for literature courses. If an argument or a factual account from one of your sources is particularly relevant to your paper but does not deserve to be quoted verbatim, considerNote that most scientific writing relies on summary rather than quotation. If you include too much quotation in your essay, you will crowd out your own ideas. Introduce your quotations. Letting your reader know exactly which authorities you rely on is an advantage: Do not also include a period before closing the quotation mark, even if there is a period there in the original. In all, there will be four periods. (See Orwell on Dickens, above. )Many people overuse ellipses at the beginning and end of quotations. But John Jones disagrees with this point, saying, Such a product would not sell.
b. V i r t u a l s a l t. Page-Page. Web site
Last, First. Article Title. Site Name. The in-text citation is the author's last name followed by a page number:
The new method was implemented to save money (Jenkins 242). See my article for more detail on.
At the end of your paper, you will have a Works Cited page, listing the work in standard MLA order. Introducing your quotation with a full sentence would help you assert greater control over the material: In these two examples, observe the forms of punctuation used to introduce the quotations. Sometimes you might want to begin your quotation in the middle of the writer's sentence. Publisher, Date. Article
Last, First. Article Title. Journal Name Volume (Year): Use an ellipsis in either place only when your reader might otherwise mistake an incomplete sentence for a complete one: Do not use an ellipsis if you are merely borrowing a phrase from the original: If you need to alter or replace text from the original, enclose the added text within square brackets. In the first paragraph of The Adventure of the 'Gloria Scott' it is Holmes himself declaring the adventure to be an extraordinary case (223), commenting tantalizingly about a paper in his hand that this is the message which struck Justice of the Peace Trevor dead with horror when he read it (223). --and so on. What is your interpretation or opinion of it? Moreover, the technique of weaving can help you to produce a tighter argument. But never sacrifice precision of phrasing for the sake of variety. Visit the U of T Writing Website s page on. If your quotation is lengthy, you should almost always introduce it with a full sentence that helps capture how it fits into your argument. Don t just parachute quotations into your essay without providing at least some indication of who your source is. You would not read the parenthetical note. Do not worry about how the original sentence needs to be punctuated before that quotation mark; However, it has become grammatically acceptable to use a colon rather than a comma: If you are blending the quotation into your own sentence using the conjuction that, do not use any punctuation at all: If you are not sure whether to punctuate your introduction to a quotation, mentally remove the quotation marks, and ask yourself whether any punctuation is still required. Finally, note that you can deviate from the common pattern of introduction followed by quotation.

Usually you will want to keep the quotation and your analysis together in the same paragraph. At the beginning of many of the Holmes stories, Doyle takes care to capture the reader's interest by proclaiming that the story just getting under way is an especially noteworthy or remarkable one. Beat against the shore (Jones 788). Ellipses at the end of a sentence use an end-of-sentence period and then three spaced dots. You are free to alter the punctuation just before a closing quotation mark. You have ever listened to a more mysterious and inexplicable chain of events than the ones he is about to relate (103). Indeed, this declaration of singularity is a common gambit Doyle uses at the beginning of many of the stories. The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb was so strange in its inception and so dramatic in its details (191) that it deserves to be recorded, Watson says. The Adventure of the Silver Blaze is described as this extraordinary case (Castle edition 172), while The Adventure of the Speckled Band presented more singular features than any of the seventy odd cases that Watson has studied in the last eight years (Doyle 165). As Doyle grew more experienced, he evidently grew a bit more sophisticated, for the later stories often strive to capture interest by tantalizing the reader. You won't do all of these each time, but you should usually name the author. Think about how your sentence needs to be punctuated. Here is a partial list: Each verb has its own nuance. Quotations are like examples: Organization Name. If you remove text, then replace the missing text with an ellipsis —three periods surrounded by spaces: If the omitted text occurs between sentences, then put a space after the period at the end of sentence, and follow that by an ellipsis. When you introduce a quotation with an incomplete sentence, you usually place a comma after the introductory phrase. Sometimes leave out some words to condense the quotation. A shorter passage can be represented as a block quotation if it is important enough to stand on its own. What does the quotation mean and how does it help establish the point you are making? Some kind of information about the quotation is needed. Instead, set it off as a block quotation: The full-sentence introduction to a block quotation helps demonstrate your grasp of the source material, and it adds analytical depth to your essay. Long quotations almost invariably need to be followed by extended analysis. For example, The Adventure of the Cardboard Box opens with the assertion that we are about to read a strange, though peculiarly terrible chain of events (Castle edition 188). Quotations support or illustrate your own points. There were many adventures in the year 1887, Watson continues, but none of them present such singular features as the strange train of circumstances which I have now taken up my pen to describe (101). As if this weren't enough, John Openshaw, the man who brings the case to Holmes, describes his problem as no ordinary one (102), and adds that he doubts whether.. See the link at the bottom of this page, How to cite this page, for more information. But if your analysis is lengthy, you may want to break it into several paragraphs, beginning afresh after the quotation. Once in a while you can reverse the pattern of quotation followed by analysis. Standard MLA Citation Style is actually rather simple for most entries: Always include article title, date of access, and URL at the very minimum. The following condenses twelve lines from Arendt s essay to fewer than two: Familiarize yourself with the various verbs commonly used to introduce quotations. Discuss them to show how they fit in with your thesis and with the ideas you are presenting. Remember: It shows that you have done your research and that you are well acquainted with the literature on your topic. In the following passage, the parenthetical reference to the author does not adequately identify the source: When you are making decisions about how to integrate quotations into your essay, you might imagine that you are reading the essay out loud to an audience. For embedded phrases like these, do not use ellipsis dots on either side. You may, for example, need to alter text to ensure that pronouns agree with their antecedents.

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