Using Quotes within your Essay

Today, we are going to learn how to use quotes properly in your paper, also known as parenthetical citations or in text citations. Now, you will also need a Works Cited page at the end of your essay; however, this PowerPoint is just focusing on how to use the quotes inside the paper. First of all, you are always going to introduce a quote.

In other words, a quote will never be in a sentence by itself, so in this example, I start off with Abby Wambach and then I tell a little bit about her: “who currently holds the record for the most career goals for the u.s. women’s soccer team” and then I end with a verb, “recently said.” If you end with a verb, you also end with a comma. Then, notice the comma just bleeds right into the quote. I end with a parenthetical citation, which is the page number in parentheses. The only reason why do not include the author’s last name in that parenthetical citation is because it is already in the sentence, Wambach. Okay, but what if Abby Wambach just said that quote; however, you got it from an article that was not written by Abby Wambach?

Notice the picture of Abby Wambach in Sports Illustrated. She probably did not write the article about herself so if that does happen, this is how you properly quote it. Notice that the introduction did not change that much. “Abby Wambach, who currently holds the record for the most career goals for the u.s. women’s soccer team, recently announced:” I used a different verb; however, you still end with a comma there. Then, I go into the quote.

The parenthetical is what changes here: The “qtd. in” means “quoted in.” Smith is the author who wrote about Abby Wambach. Smith will be the one that’s in your work cited page. 23 is the page number. Notice where the period is.

Notice that there is no comma after Smith. Another way to quote is what I call smooth sailing. This is when your words, your introduction, just kind of smoothly goes into the quote itself, so you don’t end with a verb like before. It just sounds like it’s one sentence.

Notice, “the narrator conforms the expectations of the Burmese crowd even though he considers the Burmese people to be ‘evil spirited little beasts.'” Notice,it just seems like the ‘evil spirit little beasts’ was part of my own sentence; however, I want to give credit where credit is due and so I quoted it. Orwell is the author. I did not mention him in the sentence; therefore, I need the author’s last name. 196 is the page number.

Again, notice where the period is. Sometimes, when you take quotes out of their context, they lose meaning, so be careful when you take quotes out of the context to make sure that they still make sense to the reader. For example, “Watson conducted a study that showed that ninety percent of students who took it we’re not prepared.” Well in this sentence, I don’t really know what it is referring to.

Now, you can’t just change a quote because remember the whole idea of a quote is you’re using the exact words of the author. However if you do need to make a further clarification like this, you can use brackets. Notice how I change the quote: “Watson conducted the study that showed that ninety percent of students who took ]the SAT] were not prepared.

I removed “it” and put brackets around the SAT to make it clear to the reader. You may do this as many times as you need to in a sentence. A third and maybe the most powerful way to quote is to use a colon you start off with an introduction that is your own words that is a complete sentence. It does not end with a verb. It does not smoothly go into the quote.

Instead, it’s just a complete sentence that usually explains what the quote is about. You have a colon at the end and then the quote. Again, I have the author’s last name and the page number within the parenthetical citation at the end. You may also want to use what we call a block quote. Block quotes are quotes that are more than four lines within the text.

You can look further in your LB Brief textbook for information on block quotes. Basically, what you do with the block quote is you indent it instead of using quotation marks notice that i do not have quotation marks starting with “all this was perplexing an upsetting,” all the way down to “british.” Another thing that changes, you might notice, is the period. Usually the period is on the other side of the parenthetica;l however, in this instance because there’s no quotation marks, you have a period to the left of the parenthetical citation. You should only use a block quote if every sentence and word is necessary to your point.

Do not use a block quote just to fill your paper up and meet a certain length because it will hurt your content grade. But if you have a long quote and you decide that you need the beginning of it and the end of it, but maybe something not in the middle, you may use ellipses to eliminate some words or sentences. Notice after theoretically, I put ellipses, which are basically three periods, that means I took something out of the quote right there. However, I just didn’t need it. If you look at the previous slide, you can see and and compare what I took out. You may use ellipses in any kind of quoting.

You may also want to paraphrase in your paper, which basically means that you took somebody else’s ideas and you put them in your own words. You want to paraphrase any kind of statistics or numbers, anything that you didn’t actually come up with yourself. So you still have the parenthetical at the end, which is the page number, but you do not have the quotation marks because you’re not using word-for-word what they said.

You want to start the sentence or the sentences with the author’s name just so the reader knows when you started the paraphrase. Sometimes the quote that you want to use was already quoted in the primary source so to further understand this quote example you might need to turn to page 160 in your textbook, which is part of the story “Being Country.” First off, find the quote below, which starts with “poorer people are wormy.” When you do find this quote, notice where the quotation marks already are in the text. Those quotation marks turn to single quotation marks.

Now compare my example on the PowerPoint to the original and see how I quoted something that was already quoted. Okay, let’s try it on your own. Turn to page 160 and find this quote. It’s very close to the quote that you just found before. Okay when you do find this quote, try to look at the two examples and find three things wrong with this quote.

You might actually find four. The quote had a couple of problems. First of all, they didn’t write word-for-word and forgot “decrepit little.” Remember if you’re quoting, you have to have wor- for-word. Also, they forgot the author’s last name because it was not in the sentence, and the period was in the wrong spot. You may also want to put ellipses right before had; however, it’s not totally necessary.

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