Integrating Quotations

When working with outside sources it is important to first decide whether to paraphrase what the source says, directly quote it or use a combination of both. It is good to aim for an even balance between paraphrasing and quoting. When the author’s words can be stated in a different or more compact way without loosing meaning, the information can be paraphrased. Be careful to always cite the source, even when you put it in your own words. The author can be quoted when the text would lose meaning if it was paraphrased or it is helpful to your paper to have the words of a reliable source. Text can also be quoted when analyzing a specific passage from a source.

When adding a quote into a paragraph be sure to make a quotation sandwich. Before adding the quote, you need to introduce it. For example: the author claims… or the character states… After the introduction, place the quotation in quotes (if it is fewer than 3 lines long) and include an in-text citation at the end in the right format (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). After you have stated the quote be sure to explain it by stating what it means and/or how it supports the argument you are making. Never assume that a reader will understand the meaning the quote has in your paper; you need to explain it for them.

If you have a quote that is around three lines or longer, it will need to be formatted as a block quotation instead. It is still important to use a quote sandwich by introducing the quote, inserting it and explaining it but since the quote is long, it will be separated from the paragraph. 

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(source: pinterest)

To do this, start the quote on a new line and indent it. The quote needs to be typed (sometimes in italics depending on the citation style) and should not be in quotation marks. The citation at the end will look like normal. Before using a block quote, be sure to read over the text you want and make sure the whole quote is meaningful for your paper.

Helpful Handouts:

When, Where, And How to Quote (UNC Writing Center)

Quotation, Paraphrase, Summary, and Analysis (George Mason Writing Center)

Integrating Quotations from a Literary Text (U Wisconsin Writing Center)