Ways to introduce a quote in an essay

For subsequent citations , include the author's name and the page number after the quotation but before the period. The first one is correct. MLA style uses the author's last name and page number with no comma in between for in-text citations. The name can be omitted if it's given in the signal phrase. Do not put a comma between the author's name and the page number or use "p. The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;— Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

It depends on the type of work: is it short essay, poem, short story or long, like a book play, movie, book, novel? Titles should be marked with italics underlining or quotation marks, depending on the work being discussed. Titles of works that appear within a volume, such as short stories, poems, and essays, should be placed in quotation marks: " Araby," "The Prophecy," "Dulce et Decorum Est.

Your own title should neither be underlined nor placed in quotation marks unless it contains the title of the work you're discussing. In that case, only the title of the work should be punctuated as a title. Usually no. It depends on whether the title is a restrictive or nonrestrictive element.


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Nonrestrictive clauses and phrases are "extra information"; if they are removed, the meaning of the sentence remains the same. Memory tip: Try putting your thumb over the information within the commas. If the sentence changes without that information, the information restricts the meaning of the sentence, and you don't need the commas. This is incorrect because the commas imply that Alcott wrote only one novel, which isn't true. If you put your thumb over what's between the commas the "extra information" , the sentence would read like this: In Louisa May Alcott's novel, Christie Devon declares her independence from convention.

Don’t Quote Just for the Sake of Quoting

That doesn't have the same meaning, and anyway, we know that Louisa May Alcott wrote more than one novel. Yes, you do. All papers must have a Works Cited page, even if you're using your textbook as the source for the works you'll be discussing. The Works Cited page is a list of the references you actually discussed in your paper, not a list of all the sources consulted.

Edited by Firstname Lastname, Publisher, Year, pp. Page Numbers. Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth. Fetterley, Judith. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Norton, , pp. Pages in Reader. Medium of Publication. Newer versions of Word also have built-in citation managers. If you're using a reference manager Zotero , Endnote , Mendeley , etc.

How to embed quotes in your essay like a boss | Lisa's Study Guides

How can I cite an electronic edition, such as a Kindle edition? If you cannot identify the file type, use Digital file. For example:. Rowley, Hazel. Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage. New York: Farrar, Kindle file. In the following passage, the parenthetical reference to the author does not adequately identify the source:. The ancient Greeks never saw a need to justify wars that were waged outside the walls of the city state.

Yet the Roman conception of a just war differs sharply from more modern conceptions.

What is a quotation or example?

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. You would not read the parenthetical note. 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.

As Hannah Arendt points out in On Revolution , "we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war, together with the first notion that there are just and unjust wars" You could, however, strengthen your analysis by demonstrating the significance of the passage within your own argument. Introducing your quotation with a full sentence would help you assert greater control over the material:.

How to write a good essay

In On Revolution , Hannah Arendt points to the role the Romans played in laying the foundation for later thinking about the ethics of waging war: "we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war, together with the first notion that there are just and unjust wars" In these two examples, observe the forms of punctuation used to introduce the quotations. When you introduce a quotation with a full sentence, you should always place a colon at the end of the introductory sentence.

When you introduce a quotation with an incomplete sentence, you usually place a comma after the introductory phrase. 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:. Arendt writes that "we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war.

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. Weaving the phrases of others into your own prose offers a stylistically compelling way of maintaining control over your source material.

Transitions introducing quotes in essay

Moreover, the technique of weaving can help you to produce a tighter argument. The following condenses twelve lines from Arendt's essay to fewer than two:. What Arendt refers to as the "well-known realities of power politics" began to lose their moral legitimacy when the First World War unleashed "the horribly destructive" forces of warfare "under conditions of modern technology" Familiarize yourself with the various verbs commonly used to introduce quotations.

Here is a partial list:. Each verb has its own nuance.


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  • Make sure that the nuance matches your specific aims in introducing the quotation. Vary the way you introduce quotations to avoid sounding monotonous. But never sacrifice precision of phrasing for the sake of variety.

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    Visit the U of T Writing website's page on verbs for referring to sources. If your quotation is lengthy, you should almost always introduce it with a full sentence that helps capture how it fits into your argument. If your quotation is longer than four lines, do not place it in quotation marks. Instead, set it off as a block quotation :. Although Dickens never shied away from the political controversies of his time, he never, in Orwell's view, identified himself with any political program:.

    The truth is that Dickens' criticism of society is almost exclusively moral.

    Integrating Quotations | Part 1 (MLA)

    Hence his lack of any constructive suggestion anywhere in his work. He attacks the law, parliamentary government, the educational system and so forth, without ever clearly suggesting what he would put in their places. Of course it is not necessarily the business of a novelist, or a satirist, to make constructive suggestions, but the point is that Dickens' attitude is at bottom not even destructive.

    For in reality his target is not so much society as human nature.

    The full-sentence introduction to a block quotation helps demonstrate your grasp of the source material, and it adds analytical depth to your essay. But the introduction alone is not enough. Long quotations almost invariably need to be followed by extended analysis. Never allow the quotation to do your work for you. Usually, you will want to keep the quotation and your analysis together in the same paragraph.

    Hence it is a good idea to avoid ending a paragraph with a quotation. 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.