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How To Embed Quotes in Your Essay Like a Boss

October 2, 2012

how to insert large quotes into an essay

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Updated 30/12/2020

  • What Are Quotes?
  • Why Use Quotes?
  • What You Want To Quote
  • How Much You Want To Quote
  • How That Quote Will Fit into Your Essay
  • There Are Also Other Ways of Using Quotation Marks
  • Questions You Must Ask Yourself When Weaving Quotes into Sentences
  • How To Find Good Quotes

1. What Are Quotes?

Quotations, better known by their abbreviation ‘quotes’, are a form of evidence used in VCE essays. Using quotations in essays helps to demonstrate your knowledge of the text, and provides solid evidence for your arguments. The discussion on quotations in this study guide can be applied to all three areas of study in the VCAA English course which have been explained in detail in our Ultimate Guide s to VCE Text Response , Comparative and  Language Analysis .

A quotation is the repetition of a group of words taken from a text by someone other than the original author. The punctuation mark used to indicate a repetition of another author’s work is presented through quotation marks. These quotation marks are illustrated by inverted commas, either single inverted commas (‘ ’) or double inverted commas (“ ”). There is no general rule in Australia regarding which type of inverted comma you must use for quotations. Single inverted commas are preferred in Australia as they follow the British standard. The American standard involves styling quotations with the double inverted comma. You can choose either style, just be consistent in your essays.

2. Why Use Quotes?

The usage of quotations in essays demonstrates:

  • Your knowledge of the text
  • Credibility of your argument
  • An interesting and thoughtful essay
  • The strength of your writing skills.

However, quotations must be used correctly, otherwise you risk (and these frequent mistakes will be discussed in detail later):

  • Irrelevant quotations
  • Overcrowding or overloading of quotations
  • Broken sentences

How You Integrate a Quote into an Essay Depends on Three Factors:

  • What you want to quote
  • How much you want to quote
  • How that quote will fit into your essay.

3. What You Want To Quote

As you discuss ideas in a paragraph, quotes should be added to develop these ideas further. A quote should add insight into your argument; therefore, it is imperative that the quote you choose relates intrinsically to your discussion. This is dependent on which aspect of the text you are discussing, for example:

  • Description of theme or character
  • Description of event or setting
  • Description of a symbol or other literary technique

Never quote just for the sake of quoting. Quotations can be irrelevant  if a student merely adds in quotes as ‘sentence fillers’. Throwing in quotations just to make your essay appear more sophisticated will only be more damaging if the quotation does not adequately reinforce or expand on your contention. Conversely, an essay with no quotations will not achieve many marks either.

4. How Much You Want To Quote

A quotation should never tell the story for you. Quotations are a ‘support’ system, much like a back up for your ideas and arguments. Thus, you must be selective in how much you want to quote. Generally speaking, the absolute minimum is three quotes per paragraph but you should not  overload  your paragraphs either. Overcrowding your essay with too many quotations will lead to failure to develop your ideas, as well as your work appearing too convoluted for your assessor. Remember that the essay is  your  piece of work and should consist mainly of your own ideas and thoughts.

Single Word Quotations

The word ‘evaporates’, used to characterise money and happiness intends to instill the idea that happiness as a result of money is only temporary. (VCAA ‘Can Money Buy Happiness’ Language Analysis)

Single worded quotations can often leave the largest impression on the assessor. This is because you are able to demonstrate that you can focus on one word and develop an entire idea around it.

Phrase Quotations

Sunil Badami ‘still found it hard to tie my Indian appearance to my Australian feeling', showing that for Sunil, his culture was not Indian, but Australian due to his upbringing. ( Sticks and Stones and Such-like, Sunil Badami in Growing Up Asian in Australia )

A phrase quotation is the most common quotation length you will use in essays.

Long Quotations

The multitudes of deaths surrounding Anna began to take its toll on her, burdening her with guilt as ‘sometimes, if I walked the main street of the village in the evening, I felt the press of their ghosts. I realised then that I had begun to step small and carry myself all hunched, keeping my arms at my sides and my elbows tucked, as if to leave room for them.’ ( Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks )

Long quotations comprise of more than one sentence – avoid using them as evidence. Your assessor will not mark you highly if the bulk of your paragraphs consists of long quotations. You should aim to keep your quotations to less than 2 lines on an A4 writing page. If you have a long quotation you wish to use, be selective. Choose only the important phrases or key words, and remove the remaining sentence by replacing it with an ellipsis (…).

Here is the same example again, with the student using ellipsis:

The multitudes of deaths surrounding Anna began to take its toll on her, burdening her with guilt as she felt ‘the press of their ghosts…[and] begun to step small and carry myself all hunched…as if to leave room for them.’ ( Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks)

In this case, we have deleted: ‘sometimes, if I walked the main street of the village in the evening’ and ‘I realised then that I had’ by using an ellipsis – a part of the quotation that is not missed because it does not represent the essence of the student’s argument. You would have noticed that a square bracket ([  ]) was used. This will be discussed in detail under  Blending Quotes.

5. How That Quote Will Fit into Your Essay

You must never take the original author’s words and use them in your essay  without  inserting them in quotation marks. Failure to do so leads to ‘plagiarism’ or cheating. Plagiarism occurs when you take someone else’s work and pass it off as your own. You must make sure that you use quotation marks whenever you use evidence from your text.

The following is plagiarism:

Even a single flicker of the eyes could be mistaken for the essential crime that contained all other crimes in itself – thought crime.  (1984, George Orwell)

Using quotation marks however, avoids plagiarism:

Even ‘a single flicker of the eyes’ could be mistaken for ‘the essential crime that contained all other crimes in itself – thought crime.’  (1984, George Orwell)

There are serious consequences for plagiarism. VCAA will penalise students for plagiarism. VCAA uses statistical analysis to compare a student’s work with their General Achievement Test (GAT), and if the cross-referencing indicates that the student is achieving unexpectedly high results with their schoolwork, the student’s school will be notified and consequential actions will be taken.

Plagiarism should not be confused with:

  • ‍ Paraphrasing : to reword or rephrase the author’s words
  • ‍ Summarising: to give a brief statement about the author’s main points
  • ‍ Quoting : to directly copy the author’s words with an indication (via quotation marks) that it is not your original work

Blending Quotations

You should always aim to interweave quotations into your sentences in order to achieve good flow and enhanced readability of your essay. Below is a good example of blending in quotations:

John Proctor deals with his own inner conflict as he is burdened with guilt and shame of his past adulterous actions. Yet during the climatic ending of the play, Proctor honours his principles as he rejects signing a false confession. This situation where Proctor is confronted to ‘sign [himself] to lies’ is a stark epiphany, for he finally acknowledges that he does have ‘some shred of goodness.’ ( The Crucible, Arthur Miller)

There are three main methods in how you can blend quotations into an essay:

1. Adding Words

Broken sentences  are a common mistake made when students aim to integrate quotations into their sentences. Below are examples of broken sentences due to poor integration of a quotation:

‘Solitary as an oyster’. Scrooge is illustrated as a person who is isolated in his own sphere. ( A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens)

Never write a sentence consisting of  only  a quotation. This does not add insight into your argument, nor does it achieve good flow or readability.

Scrooge, ‘solitary as an oyster’, is illustrated as a person who is isolated in his own sphere.  (A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens)

This example is better, however the sentence is still difficult to read. In order to blend quotations into your sentences, try adding in words that will help merge the quotation and your own words together:

Described as being as ‘solitary as an oyster’, Scrooge is illustrated as a person who is isolated in his own sphere.  (A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens)

Scrooge is depicted as a person who is ‘solitary as an oyster’, illustrating that he is isolated in his own sphere.  (A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens)

Tip: If you remove the quotation marks, the sentence should still make sense.

2. Square Brackets ([   ])

These are used when you need to modify the original writer’s words so that the quotation will blend into your essay. This is usually done to:

Change Tense

Authors sometimes write in past  (looked) , present  (look)  or future tense  (will look) . Depending on how you approach your essay, you may choose to write with one of the three tenses. Since your tense may not always match the author’s, you will need to alter particular words.

Original sentence: ‘…puts his arm around Lewis’ shoulder’ ( Cosi, Louis Nowra)

Upon seeing Lewis upset, Roy attempts to cheer him up by ‘put[ting] his arm around Lewis’ shoulder’. ( Cosi, Louis Nowra)

Change Narrative Perspective

The author may write in a first  (I, we) , second  (you)  or third person  (he, she, they)  narrative. Since you will usually write from an outsider’s point of view, you will refer to characters in third person. Thus, it is necessary to replace first and second person pronouns with third person pronouns. Alternatively, you can replace first and second person pronouns with the character’s name.

The original sentence: ‘Only now can I recognise the scene for what it was: a confessional, a privilege that I, through selfishness and sensual addiction, failed to accept…’  (Maestro, Peter Goldsworthy)

When Keller was finally ready to share his brutal past with Paul, the latter disregarded the maestro, as he was too immersed in his own adolescent interests. However, upon reflection, Paul realises that ‘only now can [he] recognise the scene for what it was: a confessional, a privilege that [he], through selfishness and sensual addiction, failed to accept’.  (Maestro, Peter Goldsworthy)

Insert Missing Words

Sometimes, it may be necessary to insert your own words in square brackets so that the quotation will be coherent when incorporated into your sentences.

The original sentence: ‘His heels glow.’ ( Ransom, David Malouf)

Achilles, like Priam, feels a sense of refreshment as highlighted by ‘his heels [which] glow.’ ( Ransom, David Malouf)

It is important to maintain proper grammar while weaving in quotations. The question is: does the punctuation go inside or outside the final quotation mark?

The rule is: If the quoted words end with a full stop (or comma), then the full stop goes inside the quotation marks. If the quoted words do not end with a full stop, then the full stop goes outside the quotation marks.

Original sentence: 'Sagitty’s old place plus another hundred acres that went from the head waters of Darkey Creek all the way down to the river.’ ( The Secret River, Kate Grenville)

Punctuation inside:

During the past decade, Thornhill became the wealthiest man in the area, owning ‘Sagitty’s old place plus another hundred acres that went from the head waters of Darkey Creek all the way down to the river.’ ( The Secret River, Kate Grenville)

Punctuation outside:

During the past decade, Thornhill became the wealthiest man in the area, owning ‘Sagitty’s old place plus another hundred acres’. ( The Secret River, Kate Grenville)

6. There Are Also Other Ways of Using Quotation Marks

Title of text.

When including the title of the text in an essay, use single quotation marks.

Directed by Elia Kazan, ‘On The Waterfront’ unveils the widespread corruption among longshoremen working at New Jersey docks. ( On The Waterfront, Elia Kazan)

Alternatively, you can underline the title of the text instead of using single quotation marks. Many teachers and examiners prefer this option.

Quotation Within a Quotation

When you quote the author who is quoting someone else, then you will need to switch between single and double quotation marks. You firstly need to enclose the author’s words in single quotation marks, and then enclose the words they quote in double quotation marks. If you're following the American standard, you'll need to do this the opposite way - that is, using double quotation marks for the author's words and and then single quotation marks for the quote. We recommend sticking to the preferred Australian style though, which is single and then double.

Original sentence: ‘…something bitter and stringy, too difficult to swallow. “It’s just that – I – um, I hate it…It’s too – it’s too Indian!”’ ( Sticks and Stones and Such-like, Sunil Badami in Growing Up Asian in Australia)

Sunil’s unusual name leads him to believe that it is ‘…something bitter and stringy, too difficult to swallow. “It’s just that – I – um, I hate it…It’s too – it’s too Indian!”’ ( Sticks and Stones and Such-like, Sunil Badami in Growing Up Asian in Australia)

As you can see, the student has quoted the author’s words in single quotation marks. The dialogue used by the author is surrounded by double quotation marks. This demonstrates that the dialogue used in the text still belongs to the author.

Using Quotations to Express Irony

When you wish to express irony, you use quotation marks to illustrate that the implied meaning of the actual word or phrase is different to the normal meaning.

As a young girl, Elaine is a victim of Mrs Smeath and her so called ‘friends’. Her father’s interest in insects and her mother’s lack of housework presents Elaine as an easy bullying target for other girls her age who are fit to fulfill Toronto’s social norms. ( Cat’s Eye,  Margaret Atwood)

In this case, ‘friends’ is written in inverted commas to indicate that Elaine’s peers are not truly her friends but are in fact, bullies.

7. Questions You Must Ask Yourself When Weaving Quotes into Sentences

1.  Does the quote blend into my sentence?

2.  Does my sentence still make sense?

3.  Is it too convoluted for my readers to understand?

4.  Did I use the correct grammar?

8. How To Find Good Quotes

Tip One: Do not go onto Google and type in 'Good quotes for X text', because this is not going to work. These type of quotes are generally the most famous and the most popular quotes because, yes they are good quotes, but does that necessarily mean that it's going to be a good quote in your essay? Probably not. But why? Well, it's because these quotes are the most likely to be overused by students - absolutely every single person who has studied this text before you, and probably every single person who will study this text after you. You want to be unique and original. So, how are you going to find those 'good quotes'? Recognise which quotes are constantly being used and blacklist them. Quotes are constantly used in study guides are generally the ones that will be overused by students. Once you eliminate these quotes, you can then go on to find potentially more subtle quotes that are just as good as the more popular or famous ones. Tip Two: Re-read the book. There is nothing wrong with you going ahead and finding your own quotes. You don't need to find quotes that already exist online or in study guides. Go and find whatever gels with you and whatever you feel like has a lot of meaning to it. I had a friend back in high school who was studying a book by Charles Dickens. I haven't read the book myself, but there was a character who couldn't pronounce the letter S, or he had a lisp of some sort. What my friend did was he found this one word where, throughout the entire book, the guy with the lisp only ever said the S one time and that was a massive thing. So, he used that. This is something that is really unique and original. So, go ahead and try to find your own quotes. Tip Three: Realise that good quotes do not necessarily have to come from the main character. Yes, the main character does often have good quotes associated with whatever they're saying, but just know that you do have minor characters who can say something really relevant and have a really good point too. Their quote is going to be just as strong in your essay as a main character's quote, which will probably be overused and overdone by so many other students. Tip Four: Develop a new interpretation of a famous or popular quote. Most of the time, the really popular quotes are analysed in very much the same way. But if you can offer a new insight into why it's being said or offer a different interpretation, then this is automatically going to create a really good quote that's going to offer a refreshing point of view. For example, if we look at The Great Gatsby , one of the most famous quotes that is constantly being used is, 'He found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass.' What most people will do is they will analyse the part about the 'grotesque thing a rose', because that's the most significant part of the quote that stands out. But what you could do instead, is focus on a section of that quote, for example the 'raw'. Why is the word raw being used? How does the word raw contribute extra meaning to this particular quote? This way you're honing in on a particular section of the quote and really trying to offer something new. This automatically allows you to investigate the quote in a new light. Tip Five: Just remember that the best quotes do not have to be one sentence long. Some of the best quotes tend to be really short phrases or even just one particular word. Teachers actually love it when you can get rid of the excess words that are unnecessary in the sentence, and just hone in on a particular phrase or a particular word to offer an analysis. And also, that way, when you spend so much time analysing and offering insight into such a short phrase or one sentence, it shows how knowledgeable you are about the text and that you don't need to rely on lots and lots of evidence in order to prove your point. Those are my five quick tips on how to find good quotes from your texts!

Need more help with quotes? Learn about 5 Ways You're Using Quotes Wrong .

Resources for texts mentioned/referenced in this blog post:

Comparing: Stasiland and 1984 Study Guide

A Killer Text Guide: Cosi (ebook)

Cosi By Louis Nowra Study Guide

Cosi Study Guide

Growing Up Asian in Australia Study Guide

A Killer Text Guide: On the Waterfront (ebook)

A Killer Text Guide: Ransom (ebook)

Ransom Study Guide

The Crucible by Arthur Miller Study Guide

A Killer Text Guide: The Crucible (ebook)

‍ The Crucible and Year of Wonders Prompts

Comparing: The Crucible and Year of Wonders Study Guide

The Great Gatsby Study Guide

‍ A Killer Text Guide: The Secret River (ebook)

The Secret River by Kate Grenville Study Guide

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how to insert large quotes into an essay

Struggling to answer the essay topic?

Has your teacher ever told you:

"You're not answering the prompt"

"You're going off topic"

Then you're not alone! If you struggle to understand and stay on topic, learn how to answer the prompt every time with our How To Write A Killer Text Response study guide.

how to insert large quotes into an essay

The idea of VCE English assessments can sometimes be a bit daunting. Always so much you want to write, never as much time as you need and they always seem to come around sooner than you think. But there is never as much cause for alarm as you think and I’m willing to guarantee that almost everyone reading this is so much better than they think at English . 

You’ve already come so far from where you started in your high school English journey. I’d like to challenge anyone reading this to go and find the earliest English essay you’ve got tucked away somewhere. I’ve done this myself and, if yours is anything like mine, you’ll be almost disgusted by what you find. Year-7-me just loved to retell the story, cling to my rigid TEEL formulas and leave my quotes just dangling, write the same basic paragraph three times and call it a complete essay. Not a pretty read and I’m sure a couple of you can relate. But, this exercise does at least prove a very valuable point: you are capable of improving at English .

So let’s start thinking about that essay you’ve got coming up again. You’ve just given yourself a nice confidence booster with that walk down memory lane, reminding yourself that you are a more-than-capable English student these days. But all you now want to do is your very best for this next essay. But how do you keep improving between now and then? After all, if you knew what you had to do to improve your English, you’d already be doing it, right? So what we’re going to do now is to have a look at what taking your essays to that next level really looks like; how you can improve your writing between now and then, whenever that might be. 

So to do this, we’re going to take an already good paragraph and improve it together. Take this one, one that I conveniently prepared earlier to a Station Eleven prompt that has to do with the theme of memory/history.

Part 1: The Good Paragraph

Q: Mandel shows the importance of remembering the past. To what extent is this true?
A: In Station Eleven, the characters often find meaning from the creation of enduring legacies. Mandel demonstrates this idea through the naming of Jeevan’s son after his brother, Frank. By creating such an enduring legacy for a character who believes in the power of such legacies - 'they’re all immortal to me' - Mandel implies that characters like this are able to achieve meaning and fulfilment by preserving these legacies. Mandel also uses the character of Miranda to highlight the importance of legacies to provide meaning where Miranda lacks it in her day-to-day life. Even though Miranda’s life is left incomplete by her sudden death, the beauty in the scene of her death suggests that a sense of fulfilment has been achieved despite the emptiness of her life relative to other characters: 'its extravagant sunsets and its indigo sea'. Hence, the meaning in her life comes from the legacy that she creates from the art she makes in her 'independent' life. This is contrasted against the character of Arthur, whose legacy does not influence any events in the post-flu world, because of his failure to create legacy or meaning beyond his day-to-day life. Further, Arthur’s death in the hectic Elgin Theatre has far less beauty than that of Miranda, implying less fulfilment in his life. Therefore, Mandel uses her text to demonstrate the value of creating legacies that allow others to remember the past.

Let’s call this our good paragraph. I’ve modelled this off of an essay I found from my Year 10 self, as happy as Year-10-me would have been with this performance, it’s far from perfect. But, it is a very functional paragraph that does all that a paragraph really needs to do. It introduces an idea, justifies it with evidence, links back at the end and doesn’t waste too much time retelling the story. So now we get to the fun bit: we’re going to take this already good paragraph, and turn it into a better paragraph.

So how do we make a good paragraph better ? 

Well, for a start, we can integrate our quotes so that the paragraph reads better . You’ll see in just a second how much of a difference this can make. This is something I learnt to do between Years 10 and 11. Other improvements that could be made include answering the prompt more directly and using some of the language of the prompt within our answers. So let’s change this and see now what these small differences do to our paragraph.

Part 2: The Better Paragraph

A: In Station Eleven, the characters often find meaning from the creation of enduring legacies that allow others to remember the individuals who came before. Mandel demonstrates this idea through the naming of Jeevan’s son after his brother, Frank. By creating this symbolic memorial for a character who believes that such legacies can allow individuals such as actors to become 'immortal', Mandel implies that characters like this are able to achieve meaning and fulfilment through their legacies. Furthermore, Mandel also uses the character of Miranda to highlight the importance of creating a legacy through one’s art to provide meaning where Miranda lacks it in her day-to-day life. Although abruptly killed off in the middle of the text, Mandel imbues her death with a certain beauty through its 'extravagant sunsets and indigo sea'. In doing so, Mandel provides a sense of completion about Miranda’s life and suggests that a sense of fulfilment has been achieved despite the emptiness of her life relative to other characters. Hence, the meaning in her life comes from the legacy that she creates from the art she makes in her 'independent' life. This is contrasted against the character of Arthur, whose legacy does not influence any events in the post-flu world, because of his failure to create legacy or meaning beyond his day-to-day life. Further, Arthur’s death in the hectic Elgin Theatre has far less beauty than that of Miranda, implying less fulfilment in his life. Therefore, Mandel uses her text to demonstrate the importance of creating legacies that allow others to remember the past.

There we have it. The paragraph has been rewritten based on the ones I wrote in Year 11 and we have the first signs of improvement. The topic sentence now references the ‘remembering the past’ aspect of the prompt. The linking sentence now uses the ‘importance’ part of the prompt. All of the same quotes are used but are now integrated (check out How To Embed Quotes in Your Essay Like a Boss if you need more help with this). 

We’ve made sure not to have more than one sentence starting with Mandel (a small nitpick but still a nice addition). It flows better. It answers the prompt more directly and suddenly we have a better paragraph . Year-11-me has shown improvement and with this comes better scores and more confidence: something that’s very important for success in English. If you’re confident and proud of what you’re writing, then you’ll have higher marks and, even better, more fun!

We haven’t changed much and the paragraph is already better . But it’s not my best paragraph. Between Years 11 and 12, I learnt even more things. I was taught to write about not only the world of the text but also the world around us that we and Mandel live in: you’ll notice that this better paragraph talks more about ‘characters’ that live ‘in the text’ whereas my best paragraph would talk more about the text in the context of the world you and I live in . I learnt to make my topic sentences more abstract and broad so that they relate more to our own world and less to the world of the text and remind whoever’s assessing that my ideas apply to everyone and not just within the texts. I learnt to respond more directly to different types of prompts (Discuss, To what extent is this true?, How does Mandel… and others) and I learnt to be more direct in discussing the views and values of Mandel (what she likes, what she doesn’t like, what she wants to see more of in the world)

So let’s apply some final changes, and see what our paragraph looks after two more years of refining English. This final paragraph is almost exactly the same as one I wrote in timed conditions before my final exam.

The Final Part: The Best Paragraph

A: Mandel explores the importance of legacies, not only as sources of meaning for their creators, but also for their roles in allowing others to remember the roles of those who came before. Such an idea is explored through the naming of Jeevan’s son, securing the legacy of Frank. By affording such a permeating influence to an individual who writes of and appreciates the 'immortal[ity]' of long-dead actors, Mandel implies that an appreciation of the inherent value in a legacy and its ability to influence future events is a key quality in individuals. Furthermore, Mandel uses the character of Miranda to highlight the importance of creating a legacy that outlives oneself to provide meaning. Although abruptly killed off in the middle of the text, Mandel imbues her death with a certain beauty through its 'extravagant sunsets and indigo sea'. In doing so, Mandel provides a sense of completion about Miranda’s life and suggests that a sense of fulfilment has been achieved despite the emptiness of her life relative to other characters. Hence, Mandel suggests that the meaning in Miranda’s life comes from the legacy that is the art she makes in her 'independent' life that continues to influence events and allow others to remember the past long after her death. Mandel provides contrast through her exploration of Arthur, whose legacy does not influence any events in the post-flu world because of his failure to create legacy or meaning beyond his day-to-day life. Further, Arthur’s death in the hectic Elgin Theatre has far less beauty than that of Miranda, reinforcing Mandel’s view that individuals who forfeit control of their own legacies, as Arthur does, lead far less completed and fulfilled lives. Therefore, Mandel highlights the immense importance of creating legacies that allow others to remember the past and encourages greater appreciation of the value of legacies in contemporary society.

So, two years later, and we’ve got what is still essentially the same paragraph, just brushed up to an even better, or best , standard. So if we’re using the same evidence, exploring the same characters and introducing the same ideas, why is this paragraph better than the last two?  

Well, if you study the topic and linking sentences, they discuss the concept of a legacy being a means of allowing others to remember the past and the importance of such a thing and everything in-between links this concept to the text. ' Mandel highlights the immense importance' represents a subtle but nice nod to the wording of the prompt by giving an ‘extent’ to which Mandel ‘shows’ or highlights. Every piece of evidence is discussed in reference to what Mandel believes about the world around us and how individuals should act in modern society. 

And there’s something very nice that we can now reflect on. This paragraph has gone from good to much better without having to introduce any new ideas. There are no overly complex interpretations of the text, we’ve just taken the same skeleton of a paragraph and made it look better without changing its real substance. 

And one of the wonderful things about making efforts to improve the quality of your writing is all the confidence that comes with this, whether this be from getting better at discussing views and values , learning to integrate your quotes or any achievement like this. I know that my confidence surged as my English got better and, as I got more confidence in my writing, I got more confidence in what I wrote about. My interpretations of the text became more and more obscure and a bit whacky at times and I had fun writing about these things. If you improve your writing, you’ll improve what you’re writing about which will mean you’ll have more fun writing and the cycle of improvement will just continue.  

So to cap off, I thought it might be nice to have a checklist of sorts that you might be able to put against your own writing.

What’s the next step I could take in improving my English?

  • Are all my quotes properly integrated ? (Hint: if the sentence doesn’t make sense without quotation marks, the answer is no)
  • Have I got more than a couple of sentences starting the same way or could I vary my sentence structure a bit more?
  • Have I explicitly used some parts of the prompt in my own writing so that I can directly answer the question in my essays?
  • Am I writing about both the world of the text and the world we live in outside of the text instead of just the characters and relationships within the text?
  • Are my topic and linking sentences describing a concept that relates to the prompt with everything in-between relating this concept to the text? (I found this a very useful way of thinking of paragraphs)
  • Is all of my evidence being discussed in relation to the views of the author ?
  • Does my essay/paragraph explain what the author would like to see more of/less of in modern society based on what is explored in the text?
  • Is my essay/paragraph specific to the exact wording and type of prompt?

And these are just some of the improvements that could be made. I’m sure each of you could ask teachers and past students and find many, many more tips on improvement. Just as long as you’re thinking about what the next step in your English might be, then you’re already headed in the right direction. So good luck and happy writing!

For a step-by-step explanation of everything you need to know to ace your SAC or exam, check out our How To Write A Killer Language Analysis ebook.

For many students, Language Analysis is their downfall. Here is the main reason why: Lots of students don’t think about  how language is used to persuade , instead they rely on lists of language techniques to tell them the answer. These sheets are usually distributed by teachers when you first start language analysis – see below.

how to insert large quotes into an essay

Whether or not you’ve seen that particular document before, you’ve probably got something similar. You’ve also probably thought, ‘this sheet is absolutely amazing – it has everything I need  and  it tells me how language persuades!’ – I know I did. Unfortunately, this mindset is wrong. Don’t fall into the trap like so many other students have over the years. For a detailed guide on Language Analysis including how to prepare for your SAC and exam, check out our Ultimate Guide to VCE Language Analysis .

The following comes from VCAA 2009 English Assessment Report:

…some students presented a simple summary [when analysing]…with little development. These responses did not score well as they did not fulfil the task as required.

The ‘simple summary’ refers to students who rely on those technique sheets to paraphrase the explanations regarding how language persuades. There is ‘little development’ because copying the explanations provided on these sheets doesn’t demonstrate enough insight into the article you’re analysing. Let’s have a look at the VCAA English Practice Exam published in 2009, ‘Chickens Range Free’ so that we can demonstrate this point. We will look at two students, both analysing the same technique. Compare the two and determine who you believe provides the better analysis.

Student 1:  Emotive language such as “abominably cruel” and “dire plight” is intended to stimulate strong emotional reactions that manipulate readers’ responses.

Student 2:  The use of emotive language such as “abominably cruel” and “dire plight” intends to appeal to people’s instinctive compassion for the chickens by describing their dreadful treatment, hence causing readers to agree with Smith that urgent action is required to save these animals.

It should be clear that Student 2’s example is best. Let’s see why.

Student 1 has determined the correct language technique and found suitable evidence from the article. This is a good start. However, Student 1 goes on to merely reiterate the explanations provided by language technique sheets and as a result, their analysis is too broad and non-specific to the article.

Student 2 conversely, understands that this last step – the analysing part – is the most important and vital component that will distinguish themselves from others. Instead of merely quoting that the article ‘manipulates the reader response’ like student 1, they provide an in-depth analysis of  how   and why  reader feelings are manipulated because of this technique. Student 2 was able to use the information to illustrate the author’s contention that we should feel sorry for these caged chickens – and we do because of our ‘instinctive compassion.’ They explain that the sympathy expressed from readers encourages them to agree that some action needs to be taken to help the chickens. As you can see, Student 2 has gone beyond identifying that ‘strong emotional reactions’ will be displayed by readers, to  establishing  what emotions are involved, and the consequences of those emotions.

This is why it’s best to avoid paraphrasing language technique sheets. By all means, don’t totally disregard them altogether. They’re definitely great for learning new language techniques – just be mindful of the explanations given. The part regarding  how the author persuades  is the downfall of many students because even though teachers tell you to analyse more, they often don’t show you the difference between what you’re doing wrong and what you should be doing right.

‍ The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman is usually studied in the Australian curriculum under Area of Study 1 - Text Response. For a detailed guide on Text Response, check out our Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response .

Introduction

  • Analysing Techniques in Visual Texts

1. Introduction

The Complete Maus is a graphic novel that depicts the story of Vladek Spiegelman , a Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor who experienced living in the ghettos and concentration camps during the Nazi regime. Vladek’s son, Art has transformed his story into a comic book through his interviews and encounters which interweaves with Art’s own struggles as the son of a Holocaust survivor, as well as the complex and difficult relationship with his father.

Survival is a key theme that is explored during Vladek’s experience in concentration camps and his post-Holocaust life. 

For example, Vladek reflects that “You have to struggle for life” and a means of survival was through learning to be resourceful at the concentration camps.

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Resourcefulness is depicted through the physical items Vladek keeps or acquires, as well as through Vladek’s skills . For example, Vladek explains to Art that he was able to exploit his work constantly through undertaking the roles of a translator and a shoemaker in order to access extra food and clothing by being specially treated by the Polish Kapo .

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He even wins over Anja’s Kapo to ensure that she would be treated well by not being forced to carry heavy objects. Vladek’s constant recounts and reflections symbolise survival, as Vladek was willing and able to use his skill set to navigate through the camp’s work system.

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During the concentration camps, food and clothes also became a currency due to its scarcity and Vladek was insistent on being frugal and resourceful , which meant that he was able to buy Anja’s release from the Birkenau camp.

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Although survival is a key theme, the graphic novel explores how Holocaust survivors in The Complete Maus grapple with their deep psychological scars. 

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Many of those who survived the war suffered from depression and was burdened with ‘survivor’s guilt’. This can be seen through the character of Art’s mother, Anja, as 20 years after surviving the death camps, she commits suicide. After having lost so many of her friends, and families, she struggled to find a reason as to why she survived but others didn’t. Throughout the graphic novel, her depression is apparent. In a close-up shot, Anja appears harrowed and says that “I just don’t want to live”, lying on a striped sofa to convey a feeling of hopelessness as if she was in prison. Her ears are additionally drawn as drooped, with her hands positioned as if she was in prison in the context is that she must go to a sanatorium for her depression.

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It is not only Anja’s guilt that is depicted, but also Art himself who feels partly responsible. Art feels that people think it is his fault as he says that “They think it’s MY fault!” and in one panel, Art is depicted behind bars and that “[He] has committed the perfect crime“ to illustrate that he feels a sense of guilt in that he never really was the perfect son. He believes he is partly responsible for her death, due to him neglecting their relationship. Spiegelman also gives insight to readers of a memory of his mother where she asks if he still loves her, he responds with a dismissive ‘sure’ which is a painful reminder of this disregard. 

Intergenerational Gap

Art constantly ponders how he is supposed to “make any sense out of Auschwitz’ if he “can’t even make any sense out of [his] relationship with [his] father”. As a child of Jewish refugees, Art has not had the same first-hand horrific experiences as his parents and in many instances struggles to relate to Vladek’s stubborn and resourceful tendencies. Art reflects on this whilst talking to Mala about when he would not finish everything his mother served, he would “argue til I ran to my room crying”. This emphasises how he didn’t understand wastage or frugality even from a very young age, unlike Vladek.

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Spiegelman also conveys to readers his sense of frustration with Vladek where he feels like he is being treated like a child, not as an adult. For example, Art is shocked that Vladek would throw out one of Art’s coats and instead buy a new coat, despite Vladek’s hoarding because he is reluctant and feels shameful to let his son wear his “old shabby coat”. This act could be conveyed to readers that Vladek is trying to give Art a life he never had and is reluctant to let his son wear clothes that are ‘inappropriate’ in his eyes. However, from Art’s perspective, he “just can’t believe it” and does not comprehend his behaviour.

Since we're talking about themes, we've broken down a theme-based essay prompt (one of five types of essay prompts ) for you in this video:

3. Analysing Techniques in Visual Texts

The Complete Maus is a graphic novel that may seem daunting to analyse compared to a traditional novel. However, with countless panels throughout the book, you have the freedom to interpret certain visuals so long as you give reasoning and justification, guiding the teacher or examiner on what you think these visuals mean. Here are some suggested tips:

Focus on the Depiction of Characters

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Spiegelman may have purposely drawn the eyes of the Jewish mice as visible in contrast to the unapparent eyes of the Nazis to humanise and dehumanise characters. By allowing readers to see the eyes of Jewish mice, readers can see the expressions and feelings of the character such as anger and determination . Effectively, we can see them as human characters through their eyes. The Nazis’ eyes, on the other hand, are shaded by their helmets to signify how their humanity has been corrupted by the role they fulfill in the Holocaust.

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When the readers see their eyes, they appear sinister , with little slits of light. By analysing the depictions and expressions of characters, readers can deduce how these characters are intended to be seen.

Look at the Background in Each Panel

Throughout the graphic novel, symbols of the Holocaust appear consistently in the background. In one panel, Art’s parents, Anja and Vladek have nowhere to go, a large Swastika looms over them to represent that their lives were dominated by the Holocaust.

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Even in Art’s life, a panel depicts him as working on his desk with dead bodies surrounding him and piling up to convey to the reader that the Holocaust still haunts him to this day, and feels a sense of guilt at achieving fame and success at their expense.

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Thus, the constant representation of symbols from the Holocaust in Spiegelman’s life and his parents’ past in the panels’ background highlights how inescapable the Holocaust is emotionally and psychologically . 

Size of Panels

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Some of the panels in the graphic novel are of different sizes which Spiegelman may have intended to emphasise the significance of certain turning points, crises or feelings . For example, on page 34, there is a disproportionate panel of Vladek and Anja passing a town, seeing the first signs of the Nazi regime compared to the following panels. All the mice seem curious and concerned, peering at the Nazi flag behind them. This panel is significant as it marks the beginning of a tragic regime that would dominate for the rest of their lives.

You should also pay close attention to how some panels have a tendency to overlap with each other which could suggest a link between events, words or feelings.

Although not specifically targeted at Text Response, 10 Things to Look for in Cartoons is definitely worth a read for any student studying a graphic novel!

When it comes to studying a text for the text response section of Year 12 English, what may seem like an obvious point is often overlooked: it is essential to  know your text . This doesn’t just mean having read it a few times either – in order to write well on it, a high level of familiarity with the text’s structure, context, themes, and characters is paramount. To read a detailed guide on Text Response, head over to our Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response .

Authors  structure  their texts in a certain way for a reason, so it’s important to pick up on how they’ve used this to impart a message or emphasise a point. Additionally, being highly familiar with the plot or order of events will give you a better grasp of narrative and character development.

It’s also a good idea to research the  life of the author , as this can sometimes explain why certain elements or events were included in the text. Researching the  social and historical setting  of your text will further help you to understand characters’ behaviour, and generally gives you a clearer ‘image’ of the text in your mind.

The  overarching themes  of a text usually only become apparent once you know the text as a whole. Moreover, once you are very familiar with a text, you will find that you can link up events or ideas that seemed unrelated at first, and use them to support your views on the text.

For each  character , it is important to understand how they developed, what their key characteristics are and the nature of their relationships with other characters in the text. This is especially crucial since many essay questions are based solely on characters.

With all this said, what methods can you use to get to know your text?

Reading the text itself:  while this may seem obvious, it’s important to do it right! Read it for the first time as you would a normal book, then increase the level of detail and intricacy you look for on each consecutive re-read.  Making notes ,  annotating  and  highlighting  as you go is also highly important. If you find reading challenging, try breaking the text down into small sections to read at a time.

Discussion:  talk about the text! Nothing develops opinions better than arguing your point with teachers, friends, or parents – whoever is around. Not only does this introduce you to other ways of looking at the text, it helps you to cement your ideas, which will in turn greatly improve your essay writing.

External resources : it’s a good idea to read widely about your text, through other people’s essays, study guides, articles, and reviews. Your teacher may provide you with some of these, but don’t be afraid to search for your own material!

Many lawyers today would cite this 60-year-old story as an inspiration—Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is, at its core, the tale of one attorney’s quest against racial injustice in his Deep South home, and of his children coming of age in the shadow of their father.

The novel is narrated in two parts by his younger child, Scout, and along with her brother Jem and their friend Dill, she traces their upbringing as inspired by Atticus’ moral teachings of tolerance, courage and justice. The first part follows their childhood, and their interactions with characters such as Boo Radley, Walter Cunningham, Miss Caroline and Mrs Dubose, while the second part follows the Tom Robinson trial itself, testing the children on the moral lessons of their childhood and disillusioning them to the overwhelming racism of their community.

We’ll be going through the novel’s major themes, and also looking at it a bit more critically within the historical context of civil rights and racial justice struggles.

Before we dive into To Kill A Mockingbird, I'd highly recommend checking out LSG's Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response .

Prejudice and Race in To Kill A Mockingbird

All throughout the novel resonate messages of tolerance over prejudice. However, before any question of race is introduced, the children must confront their prejudices about Boo Radley, a local recluse who was rumoured to have attacked his parents. While they (particularly Jem and Dill) lowkey harass Boo by playing around his yard, re-enacting dramaticised versions of his life, and sending notes into his house with a fishing pole, they undoubtedly get drawn into the rumours as well: he was “six-and-a-half feet tall”, he “dined on raw squirrels” and he had a head “like a skull”.

What is prejudice, after all? In this case, it doesn’t have to do with race necessarily—it’s more about how the children judge Boo, form a preconceived image of who he is, before they really know him.

And this happens to other white characters too—notably Walter Cunningham, a boy from a poor family who Aunt Alexandra straight up derides as “trash”. Even when invited to dinner by the Finches, he is dismissed by Scout as “just a Cunningham”, and this is where Calpurnia steps in as the moral voice, chastising her for acting “high and mighty” over this boy who she hardly knows.

The racial dimension of prejudice is impossible to ignore though—as Atticus says, “people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box”. The word ‘resentment’ has special significance here in the context of the Great Depression (in which the novel was set—more on this in a later section) but the general idea is clear: Black Americans like Tom Robinson were guilty, and therefore doomed, the minute they stepped into a court because the white jury inevitably bore prejudices against them.

At the end of the day, the panacea Lee presents for prejudice is empathy, the idea that only by truly understanding someone, “climb[ing] into [their] skin and walk[ing] around in it”, can we overcome our own prejudices—something that the jury isn’t quite able to do by the end of the novel.

Justice in To Kill A Mockingbird

In the second part of the novel, these moral questions around prejudice and empathy find an arena in the courtroom, where Tom has been unfairly charged with rape and is being defended by Atticus. The court of law is supposed to be this colour-blind, impartial site of dispute resolution, where anybody “ought to get a square deal”, but the reality we see in the novel falls dramatically short; Tom is indeed ultimately found guilty despite the evidence to the contrary.

The intersection of these themes—race, prejudice and justice—forces us to confront the reality that our legal institutions may not be as colour-blind and impartial as we thought. As Atticus says in his closing statement, “a court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up.” However, what we see is that the people who make up a jury are not necessarily as sound as he/we would hope—Scout later recognises that the true trial occurs in the “secret courts of men's hearts”, and that racist biases were always going to get in the way of a fair verdict.

Heroism and Courage in To Kill A Mockingbird

All of that sounds pretty dire, so is the novel then purely pessimistic? We’re going to complicate this a little here, and then (spoiler) a little more in the “Past the Basics (II)” section, but let’s say for now that even though the outcome may be cause for pessimism, the novel is not so pessimistic on the whole. This is because of one central moral that stands out from all of Atticus’ other teachings, and that strings the entire story together, namely the idea that courage doesn’t have any one single shape or form, that anybody can be courageous.

In Part One, we find an unlikely hero in Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose, who the children describe as “plain hell”—when Jem takes out her flowers, Atticus makes him read to her as punishment. Only when she dies is it revealed that she was a morphine addict who had been trying to cut the habit in her last days, which Atticus sees as extremely brave: “[Real courage is] when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” For all we know, this could’ve been about himself…

Another example of Atticus switching up what it means to be heroic is in the way he puts down Tim Johnson. Don’t stress if you forgot who that is—Tim is the rabid dog. Jem is blown away by his father’s marksmanship, which he had never actually witnessed. Atticus transforms this into yet another lesson about courage: "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand."

What we see here is Lee trying to broaden the reader’s imagination of what a hero could be, or what courage could look like, and all of this momentum eventually builds to the trial in Part Two. Even Tim Johnson’s name calls to mind parallels with Tom Robinson’s legal battle, in which Atticus heroically takes up the huge responsibility of protecting the innocent, and in spite of his best efforts, both times he fails.

Yet maybe both times he knew it would be inevitable—courage is “know[ing] you’re licked before you begin”, right?  

Fatherhood vs Adolescence in To Kill A Mockingbird

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This knowledge seems to be one of those unfortunate things that comes with age and life experience. While Atticus already understands this, it doesn’t quite click for his children until the end of the novel. Jem is particularly shaken by the guilty verdict: “It ain’t right”, he cries.

The novel is sometimes referred to as a bildungsroman for this reason: at its core, it’s a coming-of-age story. Jem may have been really idealistic about law and justice and the court system, but this is the first time in his life that he has had to grapple with the reality that all these institutions might be flawed, and that his dad is a hero not because he always wins, but because he’s willing to get into the fight even when he knows he might lose. Even though these messages came through all across the novel, Jem’s personal investment in the Robinson trial brings it all together for him.

Thus, on the one hand, you have this disillusionment and loss on innocence, but on the other, you also have this shift in worldview that may well be valuable in the long run.

It’s also worth noting that Jem isn’t the only character who experiences this though—and also that heroism isn’t the only theme that is affected. Scout experiences similar disappointments, and they both grapple with other questions of conscience, tolerance and conformity throughout the novel.

Past the basics: Narrative Structure

I’ve hinted to this briefly throughout the themes, but the two-part structure of the novel plays a key role in delivering the key moral messages. While Part One isn’t necessarily the story you’d expect (given that it’s very long and almost completely not about the trial itself), many of the characters and their interactions with Jem, Scout and Dill are incredibly meaningful. (Walter Cunningham and Mrs. Dubose are covered above, but try to form some of these connections yourself).

Boo Radley is the key character who connects the two parts of the story. He spends much of the first part in hiding, occasionally leaving gifts for the kids in a tree (chapter 7), or giving them a blanket during a fire (chapter 8). However, he’s also victim to their prejudice and their gossip—they don’t see him as a person, but rather as an enigma whom they can harass and talk about at will. In the second part however, he emerges to save Jem from Bob Ewell and is actually a rather unassuming man. Here, Scout and Jem must reckon with the moral lessons they’ve been taught about prejudice, but also about innocence and courage. It’s through these interactions as well that they come closer to understanding Atticus, and his brave quest to defend the innocent. In many ways, the first part of the novel sets up and drives these ideas home.

Past the basics: Critical Racial Analysis

As foreshadowed, we’re going to complicate the heroism element of the novel here, and I’ll start with a quote from a New York Times review: “I don’t need to read about a young white girl understanding the perniciousness of racism to actually understand the perniciousness of racism. I have ample firsthand experience.”

So is there an issue when a story of Black injustice only elevates white people as heroes? Not to say that Atticus can’t be heroic, but what does it say that he’s the brave, stoic hero in a story about a Black man’s unjust suffering?

I think to best understand these complexities, it’s worth situating the story in its historical context.

  • 1930s : Great Depression; when the novel is set . Economy had collapsed and masses were unemployed; with slavery abolished, Black people were competing with white people for labour, fuelling resentment. Harper Lee grew up in this time, so there are autobiographical elements to the novel.
  • 1960s : Civil Rights Movement; when the novel is published . For the first time in history, Black heroes were capturing national white attention and shifting the needle drastically towards racial justice. It was in this watershed wave of activism and social change that people read this book for the first time, and it was received as a deeply authentic voice within this movement.
  • 2010s : Present day; when the novel is currently being read . We’re closer towards achieving racial justice now, but we’re also in a world where more and more young people are cognisant of these issues. While the novel’s image on the surface (of white kids being blown away by the existence of racism) is fading in relevance, there are underlying messages that are still relevant: racism and prejudice is inevitable, and can occur across and within racial lines; courage and heroism can take many forms (consider how Black characters—such as Calpurnia—also act in heroic ways); and the experiences of young people, whether experiencing racism firsthand or witnessing its divisive impact, undoubtedly shape their values and morals as they enter the adult world.

If the same story was published today, it probably wouldn’t have the same impact, but think about what kinds of messages endure anyway, beneath the surface story.

Essay Prompt Breakdown

To Kill a Mockingbird argues that empathy is courageous. Discuss.

Which brings us to a topic that is a bit knottier than it might first seem. Although empathy is shown to be courageous, particularly in the context of its setting, part of the novel’s message is also that courage can be fluid. This means that you might agree for a paragraph or two, emphasising the importance of context, before expanding on this idea of courage in the third.

  • Paragraph One : empathy can be a courageous trait in divisive times. Atticus says from early on that it’s important to “climb in [someone’s] skin and walk around in it” in order to better understand them. He initially says this about Walter Cunningham, but it’s a message that finds relevance all throughout—which occurs in parallel, of course, with his other lessons about courage, and how it can take different forms (as in Mrs. Dubose). Understood together, Lee suggests that empathy can in itself be a form of courage.
  • Paragraph Two : we’ve blended two themes together in the previous paragraph, but let’s bring in some context here. Empathy only stands out as being particularly courageous because of the historical milieu, in which people were not only racist, but allowed racist resentments to surface in the economic struggle of the Depression. In fact, these “resentments [were carried] right into a jury box” where people failed to display the very courage that Atticus consistently espouses.
  • Paragraph Three : that said, even if empathy is courageous, courage can take on many forms beyond just empathy. Consider Scout backing away from a fight with Cecil Jacobs (“I felt extremely noble”—and rightfully so) or the resilience of the First Purchase congregation in using their service to raise money “to help [Helen Robinson] out at home”. That these characters, Black and white, can hold their heads high and do the right thing in difficult times is also courageous.

In your opinion, what is the most central and relevant message from To Kill a Mockingbird ?

What is the role of innocence in To Kill a Mockingbird ?

Lee argues that legal institutions are fraught with human bias—is this true?

In To Kill a Mockingbird , who pays the price for racism, and what do they lose?

Challenge: In To Kill a Mockingbird , how are isolation and loneliness different, and what is Lee suggesting about society in this regard?

To Kill A Mockingbird Essay Prompt Breakdown Video

Video Transcription

Something that I want you to take away from this video is being able to develop a contention statement that is a complete, solid foundation for your essay. A lot of the time when I ask students what they’re trying to say in a specific section of their essay, they can’t really explain it, they’re just trying to put relevant evidence down. Ideally, it’s worth bearing in mind when you plan that you should be able to follow your logic back to the contention at any given point, even if you’re not that confident with the topic, and even if it wasn’t the topic you’re quite prepared for.

The topic we’ll be looking at is:

To Kill A Mockingbird is a story of courage. Discuss.

So ‘courage’ is the key word here, and the way we define it will shape our entire discussion. It generally means bravery and fearlessness, but what kinds of courage are explored in the novel? It could be anything from courage to do the ‘right’ thing, or courage to tell the truth, or courage to treat people with dignity even when you don’t know if they’ll treat you the same way.

Immediately, we can see that this is a theme-based prompt . To learn more about LSG's incredible Five Types Technique and how it can revolutionise how you approach VCE Text Response essays, have a read of this blog post .

For a prompt like this, you start building your contention based on these definitions, and this is handy if you’re better prepared for another theme. L et’s say you’re better prepped to write an essay on discrimination ...

You could contend that the novel is indeed about courage, as Atticus not only teaches it to his children but also applies it to his defence of Tom Robinson in the face of structural racism. However, courage is also linked more broadly to empathy, which is explored as a panacea for discrimination. A complete contention like this breaks up your points neatly, but also grounds everything you have to say in an essay that still addresses the question and the idea of courage.

For example, paragraph one would start by looking at the forms of courage he teaches to his children . Part One, the more moralistic and didactic section of the novel ends with the idea that “real courage” isn’t “a man with a gun” but rather “when you know you're licked before you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” The section is characterised by these lessons of “real courage”—while Atticus “One-Shot” Finch downplays his marksmanship, he focuses the children’s moral instruction on characters such as Mrs Dubose, who he admires as courageous for fighting her morphine addiction.

The next paragraph would look at Atticus’ actions and also the trial in a bit more detail, as he embodies this idea that real courage exists outside of physical daring . In the racist milieu of the Deep South at the time, juries rarely “decide in favour of a coloured man over a white man.” Yet, Atticus is determined to defend Tom even at the steep cost of his own personal honour or reputation. Not only does he teach his children about the importance of courage, but he goes on to exemplify those very lessons himself. Courage in this case reflects his commitment to the truth and to defending the innocent—“this boy’s not going till the truth is told.”

However, in the final paragraph we might take a bit of a turn. Atticus, in having the courage to see Tom as an equal, is probably reflecting another very important value in the novel—namely, empathy. Though he admires Mrs. Dubose for her “real courage”, the white camellia he gives to Jem represents the goodness he sees within her despite her discriminatory attitudes. Though Jem struggles to empathise with the “old devil”, Atticus posits that it takes a degree of courage to be the bigger person and see the best in others, rather than repeating cycles of discrimination and prejudice. The idea of empathy as a form of courage is also reflected in what he teaches them about Boo Radley. When Scout is terrified by the idea that he had given her a blanket without her realising, she “nearly threw up”—yet Atticus maintains the importance of empathising with people, “climb[ing] into another man’s shoes and walk[ing] around in it” rather than ostracising them. In other words, he sees empathy as a form of courage in being the first to break social stigmas and overcome the various forms of discrimination that separate us.

Now to touch base again with the take away message . We contended that the novel is about courage because Atticus teaches it to Scout and Jem while also representing it in the trial. We also contended that courage is linked to empathy, another key value that he imparts as it helps to overcome social barriers like discrimination. The aim was to build an essay on a contention that clearly props up the body of the essay itself, even when we were more confident with some other themes, and I think this plan does a pretty good job of covering that.

Hey everyone!

I’m super excited to share with you my  first  ever online tutorial course for VCE English/EAL students on  How to achieve A+ for Language Analysis !!!

I created this course for a few reasons:

Language Analysis is often the  key weakness  for VCE English/EAL students,after my  intensive workshops , students always wish we had spent  even   more  time on Language Analysis,many of you have come to me seeking private tuition however since I am fully booked out, I wanted to still offer you a chance to gain access to my ‘breakthrough’ method of tutoring Language Analysis,I am absolutely confident in my  unique  and  straightforward  way of teaching Language Analysis which has lead to my students securing exceptional A graded SAC and exam scores!

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has no idea explaining  HOW  the author persuades?

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Be able to successfully identify language techniques in articles and images

Be able to successfully identify tones adopted in articles and images

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Be able to apply your new skills coherently and clearly in essay writing

You will be able to accurately describe HOW an author uses language to persuade

You will be able to plan and write a language analysis essay structure (single article/image)

You will be able to plan and write a language analysis essay structure (2 or more articles/images)

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To find out more, you can check out the full details of the course   here !

See you in the course!

You really don’t want to get off on the wrong foot with your examiners. Minor irritations such as misspellings and poor handwriting can put the examiner in a negative frame of mind and affect your overall grade, even if your essay content is solid. You want to give yourself every chance of getting top marks. I’m sure you’ve heard this kind of thing a million times before. Teachers stress the importance of good handwriting and spelling over and over again. There is one particular issue I’d like to address here that is not quite as easy to fix: vocabulary and expression. In the following paragraphs I will discuss common problems with expression, focusing on the use of long, supposedly more ‘sophisticated’ words.

A strong vocabulary can certainly help to improve your writing. The use of sophisticated vocabulary – in the right situations – showcases your eloquence and knowledge. However, there is a fine line between good expression and excessive, over-the-top attempts at sophistication. There are four points I’d like to make on this subject.

1. Don’t force it  – Students can sometimes attempt to throw all sorts of fancy-sounding words into their essays. I don’t know why. Maybe they think it’ll make their essay sound more intelligent. Maybe they are trying to adopt a more ‘scholarly’ voice. Whatever the reason, this kind of thing can actually get the examiner in a bad mood and hurt your grade. If you’re going out of your way to throw big words into your essay, chances are it’s going to sound forced. I don’t mean to say that you should cut out all that sophisticated vocabulary. When used correctly, those big words will certainly strengthen your expression and help you to communicate complex ideas. However, it’s usually quite obvious to the examiner when you’re forcing these words in where they don’t belong. Excessive use of complicated vocabulary is likely to distract from the points you’re making. It can disrupt the flow of your piece. Remember that you’re trying to effectively communicate your ideas to the reader. Try to keep that point in mind as you write.

2. Be comfortable with your vocabulary  – This is immensely important! I’ve said that you shouldn’t force sophisticated words into your writing. You can overcome this by having a sound knowledge of a word’s meaning and its typical context of use. In those essays that force the sophisticated vocabulary, it often sounds as though the writer has simply gone through the dictionary and picked out a bunch of words. Do not do this! You need to be comfortable with a new word before you can start using it effectively in essays. The best way to get comfortable is to read widely. This will give you as much exposure as possible to new vocabulary, and its use in context. You can also try out some new vocabulary in your practice essays. Get feedback from your teacher or tutor, ask them to focus on your vocabulary choices and see if there’s anything you need to work on. It takes time to get comfortable with new vocabulary, so get reading! Learn more on how you can improve your vocabulary here .

3. Less is more  – Basic vocabulary can often be much more effective in communicating your message clearly. Why use a ten dollar word when an everyday word will do? Short, sharp sentences with clear and unambiguous expression can be a whole lot more impressive than long, winding sentences filled with long, confusing words. I will stress the point again here; aim for clear and effective communication! When you get to university, you’re going to have to read academic papers that are chock-full of extremely long sentences and pretentious scholarly rhetoric. It’s a nightmare trying to make sense of some of these papers. Sometimes it’ll feel like they’re actually trying as hard as possible to hide the message of their writing. I’ve never really understood why. If you get to try your hand at writing a thesis or dissertation, there are a number of conventions that must be followed and your writing must be a lot more scientific. A lecturer once said to me that you’re doing ‘academic style’ right if it feels like you’re losing a bit of your soul with every sentence that you write. That’s definitely how I felt. There’s not much room to show off your own linguistic flair and expression – at least until you’ve mastered academic writing. You have a fantastic chance in VCE English to show off your writing ability and be creative. So try to make the most it! Just don’t think that good writing has to resemble that dry academic style, with long sentences and fancy words. Impress your examiner by showing clear, unambiguous writing. Impress them with writing that flows and conveys your own personal style. Which brings us to my final point:

4. Be yourself  – Don’t try to be someone else in your writing. The most engaging essays are those that can show something unique. As mentioned in earlier blog posts, examiners are marking hundreds of essays on the exact same topics. Your personal writing style can spice up an essay and distinguish you from other students. It’s important to stick to the required formal writing style, with correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and so on. However, you can play with your sentence structure and vocabulary. Add your own flair to leave your signature on your essays. Your expression will only improve through practice, so write as often as you can! If you have truly engaged with the subject matter and have something interesting to say about it, let that enthusiasm shine through in your prose. 

I hope that it’s clear from the paragraphs above that it’s perfectly fine to use sophisticated vocabulary – in fact, it’s encouraged! Just make sure that you fully understand the words that you’re using. Don’t use fancy words just for the sake of it. Make sure that your word choice actually improves your essay and adds clarity to the points you are making. Use your sophisticated words alongside your more basic vocabulary. Find a balance that makes your writing entertaining and engaging, while still maintaining effective and clear expression. Let your engagement with the text shine through in writing that is coloured with your own personal style. Be creative and, most importantly, have fun!

Fact: The VCE is a competition.

Fact: There are so many brilliant minds out there with vocabularies that can   wow   the pants off examiners in seconds.

Fact: We have all felt intimidated at some stage of this race by these kids, but here’s the craziest fact of them all….

Fact: You can be one of them.

Do you really believe that the top VCE students, you know, those 99.95 geniuses out there, study religiously for 6-8 hours a day and feel totally motivated to work 24/7?

I used to think that these kiddos were on auto pilot - robots that never had difficulty remembering a quote, never struggled to find their next point in an analytical essay, could always find the energy to write another piece for their teacher to correct. It was as though these students weren’t real, but now that I have had a personal experience at tackling the VCE, I think that anyone can appear to be this ‘amazing’ in English, simply by following one piece of advice: changing your attitude towards studying.

There are no magic tricks, no gimmicks, and no simpler way to put this. If you want to see real results, you need a new perspective on not just English, but all subjects - start “wanting” to study. Today.

So how does this epic VCE competition - full of thousands of students - set apart the very top end students as opposed to the, well, only great students? I’m a firm believer in that your attitude towards your studies will always be indicative of how well you will perform in this race. So don’t start changing what, when or how much you study, make changes to how you study!

Easier said than done, right? Try me. Start by immersing yourself in English (or any subject for that matter) so that you can start to enjoy learning about it. For instance, go to a book club for context, debate the pros and cons of a character’s personality as if they are actually real, and watch the movie adaptation of the book you are studying etc.

Try to find as many avenues as possible that will allow you to enjoy writing an essay, even by taking baby steps. Why not start playing around with an imaginative story about your favourite TV show just to get the hang of creative writing before you hand in an imaginative essay tailored to your study requirements? Once you change that attitude from  “I ‘need’ to write this”  to  “I ‘want’ to and ‘would like to’ improve on this”  you will see an enormous shift in results, self-satisfaction and confidence! Don’t be daunted by a difficult topic in the text response section – view it as a way of “showing off” to the examiners; take your time planning about how much depth you can put into your response and make it a challenge to rise beyond expectations as opposed to meeting the bare minimum and providing a mediocre response.

So c’mon! Dive right into the deep end and throw yourself into your studies. You don’t need to take out a mortgage, nor a fancy exercise book with fluffy pink pens. You only need to pack your positive attitude.

Although clarity in expression takes priority, employing sophisticated vocabulary will win you major points with the examiner. Essays with a (healthy) level of adornment tend to demonstrate greater control of language and insight, giving the piece a perceptive and erudite aspect. Nevertheless, trying to employ new vocabulary seamlessly in your essay can be tough- rather than swapping random words in and out of your essay post-mortem, adapting your vocabulary bank to your own writing style can make the process a lot less jarring.

Finding the right bank for you

The conditions of your vocabulary bank should be suited to your specific needs. A focus on a need or theme enables more visible connections within the vocabulary bank. Having those connections will make it easier to 'memorise' new terms. Instead of compiling a dense 20-page glossary, try breaking your vocabulary bank up into smaller, specific sections.

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For example, if you're hoping to find new verbs to express the author's intention :

  • Expressions used in previous essays

The author argues

The author shows  

The author criticises

The author supports

  • Branch off 'argue' (Fervent tone):

contends, asserts, posits, proffers…

Branch off 'shows' (Neutral tone):

demonstrates, exposes, elucidates, delineates, explicates…

Branch off 'criticises' (Negative tone):

condemns, denigrates, lampoons, parodies…

Branch off 'supports' (Positive tone):

praises, endorses, exalts, lauds…

From storage to use

After clarifying their definitions, try using some of your new words in a sentence or a paragraph, relating to either your texts or language analysis. You can also extend your vocabulary bank by adapting the words to different sentence structures:

The author criticises the superficiality of our consumerist culture.

Substitution

The author condemns the superficiality of our consumerist culture.

In a condemnatory tone, the author delineates the ostentation of our consumerist culture.

The author argues that gender is an arbitrary concept.

The author asserts that gender is an arbitrary concept.

Asserting that gender is an arbitrary concept, the author explicates the categorist nature of human understanding.

Using convoluted expressions can be fun or exasperating! Whilst demonstrating extensive vocabulary may raise your mark, the key is to ensure harmony between your words and your understanding.

When did you start your McDonald’s job?

I started at Macca’s when I was fifteen! This meant that by the time Year 12 came around, I was pretty accustomed to balancing work, school and my other commitments.

How did work fit in with school and social life?

I was lucky because I had a good relationship with the management team and my rostering manager in particular. So, I was able to have an open and honest conversation with them about work arrangements for the year and I could trust that the shifts assigned to me would be appropriate for fitting in with all of my other commitments.

How did you organise your workload with your roster manager?

It was pretty straightforward! I had a conversation with my rostering manager about the year and we decided that 10-12 hours would be a manageable amount for me. This ended up being around 2 shifts per week!

Would your social life work around McDonalds?

Definitely! I would usually work Thursday or Friday nights and Saturday mornings. So, this allowed me to see my friends on Saturday nights and Sundays. I would be really strict in not making any commitments (if possible) on Sundays because it was my one day per week to do whatever I felt I needed to alleviate stress and prepare for the week ahead.

What did you do when you had to do more hours than you were comfortable with?

There were a few things I could have done if this happened.

  • Getting my shifts covered or swapping them for days that worked better for my schedule
  • Speaking to the management team and if no action was taken, escalating it to a higher level

I’m pretty lucky with where I work so I was always able to trust they would work towards my best interest, especially throughout Year 12!

How did you respond to last-minute plans?

It’s funny you ask, actually! I actually heard some advice that recommended if an opportunity comes up to do something you like with your friends, to take it. The reason being, that often if you try to plan out a time to see friends in advance, they might not be free, so if you can rework your schedule, I’d recommend taking up the offer and then the studying and homework can easily be done at another time. I’m not recommending that you neglect your schoolwork, I’m recommending that you do your schoolwork once you’ve given yourself a couple of hours a week to take care of yourself — it’s so important to prevent burnout!

How did going out help you to be more productive?

I found that if I saw my friends and had a few laughs with them (at an appropriate time!) it would rejuvenate me so much more effectively than taking a 30 minute break at home. Obviously I wouldn’t accept an invitation to go out for dinner with some mates if I was in the middle of completing a practice exam, but, for example if I’d been studying for four hours straight, seeing my friends would be a perfect opportunity to freshen up my mind and relieve some stress.

How would you organise your work hours depending on your study load?

It was pretty simple, actually! I would look at my SAC schedule and other school commitments in my diary and then roster off the days in the lead up to SACs, etc.

How did you manage work during the exam period?

I actually took 6 weeks of annual leave from work in the lead up to, and during exams. But, I didn’t study all the time, despite having a lot of free time. I obviously studied quite a bit, but I also used any spare moments to see friends and do things I liked to alleviate stress and reduce the risk of my impending burnout!

How long after your exams did you start working again?

I went away for about a week and then I started working a few days after I got back.

Do you have any advice on work/study/life balance?

Be honest with yourself, know what works for you and know your limits. The key factor that enabled me to have an effective work/study/life balance was knowing myself and my needs educationally — from experience, I knew how many days I needed to prepare and what I needed to do to prepare for SACs in the most effective ways!

1. You’re using too many

Bet you didn’t think that you could use too many quotes in a text response essay - it seems impossible, right? Wrong. There needs to be space in your essay for ideas to develop and some sentences (other than the introductory and concluding sentences) will have no quotes in them.

Each quote or group of quotes needs to be quantified in its own right so that it adds sustenance to your essay. If you use a quote, you need to pair it with a concept. The point of quotes is to justify that what you’re suggesting about the text is true and correct. If you can use quotes effectively, then you should be able to justify a huge number of abstract viewpoints about any work.

There is no set number that constitutes a correct amount of quote. It’s mostly about the ratio within an essay.

To ensure that you do not use too many quotes, read over your essay to check that your ideas are clear and the quotes substantiate the concepts that you put forward. For every quote you write, ask yourself, does it support my idea and is it relevant to my essay topic? For every small point that you bring up, you can collect quotes and perhaps use three to four short quotes (see point three).

Too many quotes can give you a headache.

Local Data:Users:calliebeuermann:Desktop:blog post photos:books-1245690_960_720.jpg

2. You’re using too few

On the other hand, there is such thing as using too few quotes. You need enough evidence to support what you’re suggesting about the text, otherwise it seems as though you lack knowledge of the text.

This one is common mistake made among those students who decide that they can get through VCE English without reading the texts.

The solution is easy. Read the text and make mind-maps of themes and ideas along with quotes from the text that suit. In order to do this, you can read each text at least twice - once to soak in the work, and a second time to work out ideas that require that bit more understanding, and to find those relevant quotes that you need for text response.

You don’t want yours to be like the desert of essays.

Local Data:Users:calliebeuermann:Desktop:blog post photos:namibia-2049207_960_720.jpg

3. Your quotes are too long

Quotes that are too long tend to become redundant and a waste of time to memorise and write down. The examiner or marker will also lose interest if your quote spans over more than a line or so. A group of smaller quotes might be more effective in supporting your contention. Of course you should rely on your own judgment and expertise. It is your essay, your ideas and therefore you should decide what types of quotes work best and when!

To evidence your understanding and knowledge of the text, collect several short quotes (one to four words long) from different areas of the text. If you choose several different pieces of evidence from the beginning, middle, and end, all from the same character, and/or from differing characters, this will prove that your idea exists throughout the entire work.

You trying to memorise an entire novel worth of quotes:

Local Data:Users:calliebeuermann:Desktop:blog post photos:bored-16811_960_720.jpg

You memorising shorter, connected quotes:

Local Data:Users:calliebeuermann:Desktop:blog post photos:concentration-16032_960_720.jpg

4. Your quotes are irrelevant

A common mistake is simply peppering quotes that you remember throughout your essay to make it look like you know the text. Instead, you should actually know your text, and always choose quotes that fully support what you are saying in reference to the author’s contention.

The reader won’t know where your essay is going if you throw random quotes in that don’t support your argument:

Local Data:Users:calliebeuermann:Desktop:blog post photos:road-sign-63983_960_720.jpg

5. You’re not embedding the quotes

Finally, to effectively use quotes, you should be embedding your quotes correctly to ensure that your essay flows. You should be able to read the essay aloud, with quotes, as you would read a speech. 

Lisa wrote up a extremely detailed blog post on How To Embed Quotes Like A Boss . One read of this and you'll never go wrong with quoting again! Check it out !

Get exclusive weekly advice from Lisa, only available via email.

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How to Put a Quote in an Essay

Last Updated: November 28, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,628,384 times.

Using a direct quote in your essay is a great way to support your ideas with concrete evidence, which you need to support your thesis. To select a good quote , look for a passage that supports your argument and is open to analysis. Then, incorporate that quote into your essay, and make sure you properly cite it based on the style guide you’re using.

Sample Quotes

how to insert large quotes into an essay

Incorporating a Short Quote

Step 1 Incorporate short direct quotes into a sentence.

  • For instance, let's say this is the quote you want to use: "The brown leaves symbolize the death of their relationship, while the green buds suggest new opportunities will soon unfold."
  • If you just type that sentence into your essay and put quotes around it, your reader will be disoriented. Instead, you could incorporate it into a sentence like this: "The imagery in the story mirrors what's happening in Lia's love life, as 'The brown leaves symbolize the death of their relationship, while the green buds suggest new opportunities will soon unfold.'"

Step 2 Use a lead-in...

  • "Critic Alex Li says, 'The frequent references to the color blue are used to suggest that the family is struggling to cope with the loss of their matriarch.'"
  • "According to McKinney’s research, 'Adults who do yoga at least three times a week have lower blood pressure, better sleeping patterns, and fewer everyday frustrations.'"
  • "Based on several recent studies, people are more likely to sit on the park benches when they're shaded by trees."

Step 3 Put quotation marks...

  • You still need to use quotation marks even if you're only quoting a few words.
  • If you're in doubt, it's best to be cautious and use quotes.

Step 4 Provide commentary after...

  • For example, let’s say you used the quote, “According to McKinney’s research, ‘Adults who do yoga at least three times a week have lower blood pressure, better sleeping patterns, and fewer everyday frustrations.’” Your commentary might read, “This shows that yoga can have a positive impact on people’s health, so incorporating it into the workplace can help improve employee health outcomes. Since yoga makes employees healthier, they’ll likely have reduced insurance costs.”

Step 5 Paraphrase

  • When you use a paraphrase, you still need to provide commentary that links the paraphrased material back to your thesis and ideas.

Using a Long Quote

Step 1 Introduce a long direct quote, then set it off in a block.

  • The reader will recognize that the material is a direct quote because it's set off from the rest of the text. That's why you don't need to use quotation marks. However, you will include your citation at the bottom.

Step 2 Write an introductory lead-in to tell the reader what the quote is about.

  • "In The Things They Carried , the items carried by soldiers in the Vietnam war are used to both characterize them and burden the readers with the weight they are carrying: The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near-necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations, and two or three canteens of water." (O'Brien 2)

Variation: When you're citing two or more paragraphs, you must use block quotes, even if the passage you want to quote is less than four lines long. You should indent the first line of each paragraph an extra quarter inch. Then, use ellipses (…) at the end of one paragraph to transition to the next.

Step 3 Indent the block quote by .5 inches (1.3 cm) from the left margin.

  • Your block quote will use the same spacing as the rest of your paper, which will likely be double-spacing.

Step 4 Use an ellipsis to omit a word or words from a direct quote.

  • For example, “According to Li, “Rosa is the first sister to pick a rose because she’s the only one who’s begun to move on after their mother’s death” might become “According to Li, “Rosa is the first sister to pick a rose because she’s … begun to move on after their mother’s death.”
  • Don’t eliminate words to change the meaning of the original text. For instance, it’s not appropriate to use an ellipsis to change “plants did not grow faster when exposed to poetry” to “plants did … grow faster when exposed to poetry.”

Step 5 Put brackets around words you need to add to a quote for clarification.

  • For example, let’s say you want to use the quote, “All of them experienced a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.” This doesn’t tell the reader who you’re talking about. You could use brackets to say, “All of [the teachers in the study] experienced a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.”
  • However, if you know the study is talking about teachers, you couldn’t use brackets to say, “All of [society experiences] a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.”

Step 6 Provide commentary after a quote to explain how it supports your ideas.

  • If you don't explain your quote well, then it's not helping your ideas. You can't expect the reader to connect the quote back to your thesis for you.

Step 7 Paraphrase the quote to condense it to 1 or 2 sentences, if you can.

  • For instance, you may prefer to use a long block quote to present a passage from a literary work that demonstrates the author's style. However, let's say you were using a journal article to provide a critic's perspective on an author's work. You may not need to directly quote an entire paragraph word-for-word to get their point across. Instead, use a paraphrase.

Tip: If you’re unsure about a quote, ask yourself, “Can I paraphrase this in more concise language and not lose any support for my argument?” If the answer is yes, a quote is not necessary.

Citing Your Quote

Step 1 Cite the author’s...

  • An MLA citation will look like this: (Lopez 24)
  • For sources with multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Anderson and Smith 55-56) or (Taylor, Gomez, and Austin 89)
  • If you use the author’s name in your lead-in to the quote, you just need to provide the year in parentheses: According to Luz Lopez, “the green grass symbolizes a fresh start for Lia (24).”

Step 2 Include the author’s...

  • An APA citation for a direct quote looks like this: (Ronan, 2019, p. 10)
  • If you’re citing multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Cruz, Hanks, and Simmons, 2019, p. 85)
  • If you incorporated the author’s name into your lead-in, you can just give the year and page number: Based on Ronan’s (2019, p. 10) analysis, “coffee breaks improve productivity.”

Step 3 Use the author’s last name, date, and page number for Chicago Style.

  • For instance, a Chicago Style citation will look like this: (Alexander 2019, 125)
  • If you’re quoting a source with multiple authors, separate them with the word “and:” (Pattinson, Stewart, and Green 2019, 175)
  • If you already incorporated the author’s name into your quote, then you can just provide the year and page number: According to Alexander, “the smell of roses increases feelings of happiness” (2019, 125).

Step 4 Prepare a Works...

  • For MLA, you'd cite an article like this: Lopez, Luz. "A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in 'Her Darkest Sunshine.'" Journal of Stories , vol. 2, no. 5, 2019, p. 15-22. [17] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • In APA, you'd cite an article like this: Lopez, Luz. (2019). A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in "Her Darkest Sunshine." Journal of Stories , 2(5), 15-22. [18] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • For Chicago Style, your article citation would look like this: Lopez, Luz. "A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in 'Her Darkest Sunshine.'" Journal of Stories 2 no. 4 (2019): 15-22. [19] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Selecting a Quote

Step 1 Select a quote that backs up the argument you’re making.

Tip: Quotes are most effective when the original language of the person or text you’re quoting is worth repeating word-for-word.

Step 2 Make sure the quote is something you can analyze.

  • If you’re struggling to explain the quote or link it back to your argument, then it’s likely not a good idea to include it in your essay.

Step 3 Avoid using too many direct quotes in your paper.

  • Paraphrases and summaries work just like a direct quote, except that you don’t need to put quotation marks around them because you’re using your own words to restate ideas. However, you still need to cite the sources you used.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

  • Always cite your quotes properly. If you don't, it is considered plagiarism. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ https://www.ursinus.edu/live/files/1160-integrating-quotespdf
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-quotes-.html
  • ↑ https://helpfulprofessor.com/quotes/
  • ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/using-sources/quotations/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_quotations.html
  • ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide/intext
  • ↑ https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_articles_in_periodicals.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/periodicals.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/quotations/

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Medical Disclaimer

The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before starting, changing, or stopping any kind of health treatment.

Read More...

To put a quote in an essay, incorporate it directly into a sentence if it's shorter than 4 typed lines. For example, you could write "According to researchers," and then insert the quote. If a quote is longer than 4 typed lines, set it off from the rest of the paragraph, and don't put quotes around it. After the quote, include an in-text citation so readers know where it's from. The right way to cite the quote will depend on whether you're using MLA, APA, or Chicago Style formatting. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to omit words from a quote, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Integrating Quotations in MLA Style

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Integrating Quotations (MLA)

A reader may be able to make sense of a quotation dropped into a piece of writing, but introducing or integrating quotations into the flow of your sentence is the way to use them most effectively—to be sure that your reader knows what you mean. You have three options: 

  • Introduce the quotation with a statement that puts it in context. A colon follows a formal statement or independent clause.
  • Lynn Quitman Troyka warns us of the particular challenges of using quotations in research papers: “The greatest risk you take when you use quotations is that you will end up with choppy, incoherent sentences” (184). 
  • Use a signal phrase followed by a comma or a signal verb followed by that to announce a quotation.
  • According to Lynn Quitman Troyka, “. . ..”
  • The narrator suggests that “. . ..”
  • As Jake Barnes says, “. . . . . ..”
  • Frye rejects this notion when he argues, “. . ..”
  • Integrate the quotation fully into your sentence. The quotation and your words must add up to a complete sentence.
  • We know the boy has learned a painful lesson when he says that his eyes “burned with anguish and anger” (Joyce 481). 
  • Leaders are inspirational; they are concerned with “providing meaning or purpose in work for employees and creating meaning in the product for customers” (Ivancevich, Lorenzi, and Skinner 341).  
  • Researchers found that firms with a strong corporate culture “based on a foundation of shared values” outperformed the other firms by a large margin (Quigley 42).

Quotations within Quotations:

Use single quotation marks to enclose a quotation within a quotation.

  • Miller states, “Religions are examples of ‘noble lies’ aimed at uplifting human stature” (18).

Adding Material within Quotations:

Use square brackets to enclose material that you add to or change within a quotation to allow it to fit grammatically into a sentence. 

  • Balko (2015) argues, “If they [policymakers] want to fight obesity, they’ll halt the creeping 

socialization of medicine” (p. 142).

  • “Today, the [saturated fat] warnings remain a cornerstone of the government’s dietary guidelines,” O’Connor (2016) states, “though in recent years the American Heart Association has also begun to warn that too much added sugar may increase cardiovascular disease risk” (p.92). 

Block Quotations:

Indent longer quotations (more than four lines) ten spaces from the margin. Notice that quotation marks are not used to enclose material that is set off from the text and that the parenthetical reference is placed after the punctuation following the quotation. 

A socially responsible vision can make an organization more attractive to customers, potential employees, and investors.  As consultant Robert Rosen puts it,  

The best companies are values-based and performance-driven.  Their community involvement supports the mission of the business.  Modern employees want to work for companies who make a difference, their customers want to do business with them because they have solid reputations as good corporate citizens, and shareholders enjoy the value such companies represent over the long term. (9)

Shortening Quotations:

Use an ellipsis of three dots to shorten longer quotations by removing non-essential words and ideas from the middle of the quote.  The quotation must fit grammatically into the sentence even with the ellipsis.   It must also retain enough of the quotation so that it still makes sense in your essay and you do not distort its meaning.   You do not need to provide ellipses at the beginning or the end of the quoted material. 

Foer states, “My grandmother survived World War II barefoot, scavenging Eastern Europe for other people’s inedibles . . . So she never cared if I colored outside the lines, as long as I cut coupons along the dashes” (159). 

Complete quote: “My grandmother survived World War II barefoot, scavenging Eastern Europe for other people’s inedibles: rotting potatoes, discarded scraps of meat, skins and the bits that clung to bones and pits. So she never cared if I colored outside the lines, as long as I cut coupons along the dashes.” 

Quick tip about citing sources in MLA style

What’s a thesis, sample mla essays.

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  • About Champlain College
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how to insert large quotes into an essay

MLA Style: Writing & Citation

  • Advertisements
  • Books, eBooks & Pamphlets
  • Class Notes & Presentations
  • Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
  • Government Documents
  • Images, Charts, Graphs, Maps & Tables
  • Interviews and Emails (Personal Communications)
  • Journal Articles
  • Magazine Articles
  • Newspaper Articles
  • Religious Texts
  • Social Media
  • Videos & DVDs
  • When Information Is Missing
  • Works Quoted in Another Source
  • MLA Writing Style
  • Unknown or Multiple Authors
  • Paraphrasing
  • Long Quotes

Block Quotations

  • Repeated Sources
  • In-Text Citation For More Than One Source
  • Works Cited List & Sample Paper
  • Annotated Bibliography

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What Is a Block Quotation?

If your quotation extends to more than four lines as you're typing your essay, it should be put into a 'block' format. 

Rules for Block Quotations

There are 4 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations:

  • The line before your block quotation, when you're introducing the quote, ends with a colon.
  • The bock quotation is indented half an inch from the rest of the text, so it looks like a block of text.
  • There are no quotation marks needed when using block quotes.
  • The period at the end of the quotation comes before your in-text citation as opposed to after , as it does with regular quotations.

Example of a Long Quotation

At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding 186)

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Put a Quote in an Essay

Home / Blog / How To Put A Quote In An Essay (with Examples)

How to Put a Quote in an Essay (with Examples)

Introduction

When writing an essay , it is essential to incorporate quotes from reputable sources to support your arguments and ideas. However, knowing how to use quotes effectively is crucial in maintaining the flow and clarity of your essay. This blog will discuss the proper ways to put a quote in an essay with examples.

Why Use Quotes in an Essay?

Quotes are used in an essay to support or reinforce the writer's arguments and ideas. They provide evidence for your claims and demonstrate that your argument is backed up by research and authority. Incorporating quotes also helps to provide context and depth to your writing and can add a unique perspective to your essay.

Types of Quotes

There are two types of quotes you can use in your essay: direct quotes and indirect quotes.

Direct Quotes: Direct quotes are the exact words used by the source that you are quoting. When using direct quotes, you need to use quotation marks and indicate the source.

Example: According to John Smith, "The Earth is round."

Indirect Quotes: Indirect quotes are a paraphrase of the original source. When using indirect quotes, you do not need to use quotation marks.

Example: John Smith claims that the Earth is round.

How to Put a Quote in an Essay

When using quotes in an essay, there are several rules that you need to follow to ensure that your writing is clear, accurate, and appropriate. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Choose a Relevant Quote

Before you start writing your essay, identify the quotes that you want to use to support your arguments. Ensure that the quotes you select are relevant, reliable, and add value to your essay.

Step 2: Introduce the Quote

Introduce the quote by providing context and indicating who the source is. This will help the reader understand the significance of the quote and its relevance to your argument.

Example: According to Jane Doe, a renowned climate scientist, "Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity."

Step 3: Use Quotation Marks

When using a direct quote, use quotation marks to indicate that you are using the exact words of the source.

Example: According to Jane Doe, "Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity."

Step 4: Provide the Source

Provide the source of the quote, including the author's name, the title of the book or article, and the page number. This will help the reader find the source if they want to read it.

Example: According to Jane Doe, a renowned climate scientist, "Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity." (Doe, The State of the Climate, p. 25)

Step 5: Punctuate Correctly

Punctuate the quote correctly by placing the comma or period inside the quotation marks, depending on whether it is a part of the quote or your sentence.

Step 6: Explain the Quote

Explain the significance of the quote in your own words. This will help the reader understand how the quote supports your argument.

Example: Jane Doe's quote highlights the urgency of addressing climate change as it poses a significant threat to human survival.

Step 7: Cite Your Sources

Ensure that you cite your sources correctly using the citation style specified by your instructor or the style guide for your discipline.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Quotes in an Essay

Using quotes in an essay can be tricky, and many students make mistakes that can impact the quality of their writing. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using quotes in an essay:

Failing to provide context: It is essentialto provide context when using a quote in an essay. Failure to do so can confuse the reader and make the quote appear out of place. Always introduce the quote and provide some background information about the source and why you are using the quote.

Overusing quotes: While quotes can add value to your essay, it is essential not to overuse them. Use quotes sparingly and only when necessary. Overusing quotes can make your writing appear lazy, and it may give the impression that you are not confident in your own ideas.

Incorrectly citing sources: Always cite your sources correctly using the citation style specified by your instructor or the style guide for your discipline. Failure to do so can lead to accusations of plagiarism , which can have serious consequences.

Misquoting or altering a quote: When using a direct quote, it is essential to use the exact words of the source. Do not alter the quote or misquote the source as this can distort the meaning and accuracy of the quote.

Failing to explain the quote: When using a quote, it is important to explain its significance and how it supports your argument. Failure to do so can make the quote appear irrelevant and disconnected from your essay.

Examples of Quotes in an Essay

Here are some examples of how to use quotes in an essay:

Example 1: Argumentative Essay

Topic: Should students be required to wear school uniforms?

Quote: "School uniforms promote a sense of unity and equality among students, and they help to reduce instances of bullying based on clothing." (Johnson, School Uniforms, p. 10)

Explanation: The quote supports the argument that school uniforms can have a positive impact on student behavior and reduce instances of bullying. It is introduced with the source and provides context for the argument.

Example 2: Persuasive Essay

Topic: The importance of recycling

Quote: "Every ton of paper that is recycled saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, and 463 gallons of oil." (Environmental Protection Agency)

Explanation: The quote provides a powerful statistic that supports the importance of recycling. It is introduced with the source, and its significance is explained in the following sentences.

Example 3: Expository Essay

Topic: The history of the American Civil War

Quote: "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." (Lincoln, Gettysburg Address)

Explanation: The quote is an iconic line from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which is a significant event in American history. It is introduced with the source, and its significance is explained in the following sentences.

Incorporating quotes in an essay can add depth, context, and authority to your writing. However, it is important to use quotes effectively and appropriately. Always choose relevant and reliable quotes, introduce them with context, use the correct punctuation, explain their significance, and cite your sources correctly. By following these guidelines, you can effectively use quotes in your essay and improve the quality of your writing.

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

Used effectively, quotations can provide important pieces of evidence and lend fresh voices and perspectives to your narrative. Used ineffectively, however, quotations can clutter your text and interrupt the flow of your argument. This handout will help you decide when and how to quote like a pro.

When should I quote?

Use quotations at strategically selected moments. You have probably been told by teachers to provide as much evidence as possible in support of your thesis. But packing your paper with quotations will not necessarily strengthen your argument. The majority of your paper should still be your original ideas in your own words (after all, it’s your paper). And quotations are only one type of evidence: well-balanced papers may also make use of paraphrases, data, and statistics. The types of evidence you use will depend in part on the conventions of the discipline or audience for which you are writing. For example, papers analyzing literature may rely heavily on direct quotations of the text, while papers in the social sciences may have more paraphrasing, data, and statistics than quotations.

Discussing specific arguments or ideas

Sometimes, in order to have a clear, accurate discussion of the ideas of others, you need to quote those ideas word for word. Suppose you want to challenge the following statement made by John Doe, a well-known historian:

“At the beginning of World War Two, almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly.”

If it is especially important that you formulate a counterargument to this claim, then you might wish to quote the part of the statement that you find questionable and establish a dialogue between yourself and John Doe:

Historian John Doe has argued that in 1941 “almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly” (Doe 223). Yet during the first six months of U.S. involvement, the wives and mothers of soldiers often noted in their diaries their fear that the war would drag on for years.

Giving added emphasis to a particularly authoritative source on your topic.

There will be times when you want to highlight the words of a particularly important and authoritative source on your topic. For example, suppose you were writing an essay about the differences between the lives of male and female slaves in the U.S. South. One of your most provocative sources is a narrative written by a former slave, Harriet Jacobs. It would then be appropriate to quote some of Jacobs’s words:

Harriet Jacobs, a former slave from North Carolina, published an autobiographical slave narrative in 1861. She exposed the hardships of both male and female slaves but ultimately concluded that “slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women.”

In this particular example, Jacobs is providing a crucial first-hand perspective on slavery. Thus, her words deserve more exposure than a paraphrase could provide.

Jacobs is quoted in Harriet A. Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, ed. Jean Fagan Yellin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987).

Analyzing how others use language.

This scenario is probably most common in literature and linguistics courses, but you might also find yourself writing about the use of language in history and social science classes. If the use of language is your primary topic, then you will obviously need to quote users of that language.

Examples of topics that might require the frequent use of quotations include:

Southern colloquial expressions in William Faulkner’s Light in August

Ms. and the creation of a language of female empowerment

A comparison of three British poets and their use of rhyme

Spicing up your prose.

In order to lend variety to your prose, you may wish to quote a source with particularly vivid language. All quotations, however, must closely relate to your topic and arguments. Do not insert a quotation solely for its literary merits.

One example of a quotation that adds flair:

President Calvin Coolidge’s tendency to fall asleep became legendary. As H. L. Mencken commented in the American Mercury in 1933, “Nero fiddled, but Coolidge only snored.”

How do I set up and follow up a quotation?

Once you’ve carefully selected the quotations that you want to use, your next job is to weave those quotations into your text. The words that precede and follow a quotation are just as important as the quotation itself. You can think of each quote as the filling in a sandwich: it may be tasty on its own, but it’s messy to eat without some bread on either side of it. Your words can serve as the “bread” that helps readers digest each quote easily. Below are four guidelines for setting up and following up quotations.

In illustrating these four steps, we’ll use as our example, Franklin Roosevelt’s famous quotation, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

1. Provide context for each quotation.

Do not rely on quotations to tell your story for you. It is your responsibility to provide your reader with context for the quotation. The context should set the basic scene for when, possibly where, and under what circumstances the quotation was spoken or written. So, in providing context for our above example, you might write:

When Franklin Roosevelt gave his inaugural speech on March 4, 1933, he addressed a nation weakened and demoralized by economic depression.

2. Attribute each quotation to its source.

Tell your reader who is speaking. Here is a good test: try reading your text aloud. Could your reader determine without looking at your paper where your quotations begin? If not, you need to attribute the quote more noticeably.

Avoid getting into the “they said” attribution rut! There are many other ways to attribute quotes besides this construction. Here are a few alternative verbs, usually followed by “that”:

Different reporting verbs are preferred by different disciplines, so pay special attention to these in your disciplinary reading. If you’re unfamiliar with the meanings of any of these words or others you find in your reading, consult a dictionary before using them.

3. Explain the significance of the quotation.

Once you’ve inserted your quotation, along with its context and attribution, don’t stop! Your reader still needs your assessment of why the quotation holds significance for your paper. Using our Roosevelt example, if you were writing a paper on the first one-hundred days of FDR’s administration, you might follow the quotation by linking it to that topic:

With that message of hope and confidence, the new president set the stage for his next one-hundred days in office and helped restore the faith of the American people in their government.

4. Provide a citation for the quotation.

All quotations, just like all paraphrases, require a formal citation. For more details about particular citation formats, see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . In general, you should remember one rule of thumb: Place the parenthetical reference or footnote/endnote number after—not within—the closed quotation mark.

Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (Roosevelt, Public Papers, 11).

Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”1

How do I embed a quotation into a sentence?

In general, avoid leaving quotes as sentences unto themselves. Even if you have provided some context for the quote, a quote standing alone can disrupt your flow.  Take a look at this example:

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression. “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

Standing by itself, the quote’s connection to the preceding sentence is unclear. There are several ways to incorporate a quote more smoothly:

Lead into the quote with a colon.

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression: “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

The colon announces that a quote will follow to provide evidence for the sentence’s claim.

Introduce or conclude the quote by attributing it to the speaker. If your attribution precedes the quote, you will need to use a comma after the verb.

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression. He states, “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

When faced with a twelve-foot mountain troll, Ron gathers his courage, shouting, “Wingardium Leviosa!” (Rowling, p. 176).

The Pirate King sees an element of regality in their impoverished and dishonest life. “It is, it is a glorious thing/To be a pirate king,” he declares (Pirates of Penzance, 1983).

Interrupt the quote with an attribution to the speaker. Again, you will need to use a comma after the verb, as well as a comma leading into the attribution.

“There is nothing either good or bad,” Hamlet argues, “but thinking makes it so” (Hamlet 2.2).

“And death shall be no more,” Donne writes, “Death thou shalt die” (“Death, Be Not Proud,” l. 14).

Dividing the quote may highlight a particular nuance of the quote’s meaning. In the first example, the division calls attention to the two parts of Hamlet’s claim. The first phrase states that nothing is inherently good or bad; the second phrase suggests that our perspective causes things to become good or bad. In the second example, the isolation of “Death thou shalt die” at the end of the sentence draws a reader’s attention to that phrase in particular. As you decide whether or not you want to break up a quote, you should consider the shift in emphasis that the division might create.

Use the words of the quote grammatically within your own sentence.

When Hamlet tells Rosencrantz that he “could be bounded in a nutshell and count [him]self a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2), he implies that thwarted ambition did not cause his depression.

Ultimately, death holds no power over Donne since in the afterlife, “death shall be no more” (“Death, Be Not Proud,” l. 14).

Note that when you use “that” after the verb that introduces the quote, you no longer need a comma.

The Pirate King argues that “it is, it is a glorious thing/to be a pirate king” (Pirates of Penzance, 1983).

How much should I quote?

As few words as possible. Remember, your paper should primarily contain your own words, so quote only the most pithy and memorable parts of sources. Here are guidelines for selecting quoted material judiciously:

Excerpt fragments.

Sometimes, you should quote short fragments, rather than whole sentences. Suppose you interviewed Jane Doe about her reaction to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. She commented:

“I couldn’t believe it. It was just unreal and so sad. It was just unbelievable. I had never experienced such denial. I don’t know why I felt so strongly. Perhaps it was because JFK was more to me than a president. He represented the hopes of young people everywhere.”

You could quote all of Jane’s comments, but her first three sentences are fairly redundant. You might instead want to quote Jane when she arrives at the ultimate reason for her strong emotions:

Jane Doe grappled with grief and disbelief. She had viewed JFK, not just as a national figurehead, but as someone who “represented the hopes of young people everywhere.”

Excerpt those fragments carefully!

Quoting the words of others carries a big responsibility. Misquoting misrepresents the ideas of others. Here’s a classic example of a misquote:

John Adams has often been quoted as having said: “This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it.”

John Adams did, in fact, write the above words. But if you see those words in context, the meaning changes entirely. Here’s the rest of the quotation:

Twenty times, in the course of my late reading, have I been on the point of breaking out, ‘this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!!!!’ But in this exclamation, I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in public company—I mean hell.

As you can see from this example, context matters!

This example is from Paul F. Boller, Jr. and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions (Oxford University Press, 1989).

Use block quotations sparingly.

There may be times when you need to quote long passages. However, you should use block quotations only when you fear that omitting any words will destroy the integrity of the passage. If that passage exceeds four lines (some sources say five), then set it off as a block quotation.

Be sure you are handling block quotes correctly in papers for different academic disciplines–check the index of the citation style guide you are using. Here are a few general tips for setting off your block quotations:

  • Set up a block quotation with your own words followed by a colon.
  • Indent. You normally indent 4-5 spaces for the start of a paragraph. When setting up a block quotation, indent the entire paragraph once from the left-hand margin.
  • Single space or double space within the block quotation, depending on the style guidelines of your discipline (MLA, CSE, APA, Chicago, etc.).
  • Do not use quotation marks at the beginning or end of the block quote—the indentation is what indicates that it’s a quote.
  • Place parenthetical citation according to your style guide (usually after the period following the last sentence of the quote).
  • Follow up a block quotation with your own words.

So, using the above example from John Adams, here’s how you might include a block quotation:

After reading several doctrinally rigid tracts, John Adams recalled the zealous ranting of his former teacher, Joseph Cleverly, and minister, Lemuel Bryant. He expressed his ambivalence toward religion in an 1817 letter to Thomas Jefferson:

Adams clearly appreciated religion, even if he often questioned its promotion.

How do I combine quotation marks with other punctuation marks?

It can be confusing when you start combining quotation marks with other punctuation marks. You should consult a style manual for complicated situations, but the following two rules apply to most cases:

Keep periods and commas within quotation marks.

So, for example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries.”

In the above example, both the comma and period were enclosed in the quotation marks. The main exception to this rule involves the use of internal citations, which always precede the last period of the sentence. For example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries” (Poe 167).

Note, however, that the period remains inside the quotation marks when your citation style involves superscript footnotes or endnotes. For example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries.” 2

Place all other punctuation marks (colons, semicolons, exclamation marks, question marks) outside the quotation marks, except when they were part of the original quotation.

Take a look at the following examples:

I couldn’t believe it when my friend passed me a note in the cafe saying the management “started charging $15 per hour for parking”!

The coach yelled, “Run!”

In the first example, the author placed the exclamation point outside the quotation mark because she added it herself to emphasize the outrageous nature of the parking price change. The original note had not included an exclamation mark. In the second example, the exclamation mark remains within the quotation mark because it is indicating the excited tone in which the coach yelled the command. Thus, the exclamation mark is considered to be part of the original quotation.

How do I indicate quotations within quotations?

If you are quoting a passage that contains a quotation, then you use single quotation marks for the internal quotation. Quite rarely, you quote a passage that has a quotation within a quotation. In that rare instance, you would use double quotation marks for the second internal quotation.

Here’s an example of a quotation within a quotation:

In “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” Hans Christian Andersen wrote, “‘But the Emperor has nothing on at all!’ cried a little child.”

Remember to consult your style guide to determine how to properly cite a quote within a quote.

When do I use those three dots ( . . . )?

Whenever you want to leave out material from within a quotation, you need to use an ellipsis, which is a series of three periods, each of which should be preceded and followed by a space. So, an ellipsis in this sentence would look like . . . this. There are a few rules to follow when using ellipses:

Be sure that you don’t fundamentally change the meaning of the quotation by omitting material.

Take a look at the following example:

“The Writing Center is located on the UNC campus and serves the entire UNC community.”

“The Writing Center . . . serves the entire UNC community.”

The reader’s understanding of the Writing Center’s mission to serve the UNC community is not affected by omitting the information about its location.

Do not use ellipses at the beginning or ending of quotations, unless it’s important for the reader to know that the quotation was truncated.

For example, using the above example, you would NOT need an ellipsis in either of these situations:

“The Writing Center is located on the UNC campus . . .”

The Writing Center ” . . . serves the entire UNC community.”

Use punctuation marks in combination with ellipses when removing material from the end of sentences or clauses.

For example, if you take material from the end of a sentence, keep the period in as usual.

“The boys ran to school, forgetting their lunches and books. Even though they were out of breath, they made it on time.”

“The boys ran to school. . . . Even though they were out of breath, they made it on time.”

Likewise, if you excerpt material at the end of clause that ends in a comma, retain the comma.

“The red car came to a screeching halt that was heard by nearby pedestrians, but no one was hurt.”

“The red car came to a screeching halt . . . , but no one was hurt.”

Is it ever okay to insert my own words or change words in a quotation?

Sometimes it is necessary for clarity and flow to alter a word or words within a quotation. You should make such changes rarely. In order to alert your reader to the changes you’ve made, you should always bracket the altered words. Here are a few examples of situations when you might need brackets:

Changing verb tense or pronouns in order to be consistent with the rest of the sentence.

Suppose you were quoting a woman who, when asked about her experiences immigrating to the United States, commented “nobody understood me.” You might write:

Esther Hansen felt that when she came to the United States “nobody understood [her].”

In the above example, you’ve changed “me” to “her” in order to keep the entire passage in third person. However, you could avoid the need for this change by simply rephrasing:

“Nobody understood me,” recalled Danish immigrant Esther Hansen.

Including supplemental information that your reader needs in order to understand the quotation.

For example, if you were quoting someone’s nickname, you might want to let your reader know the full name of that person in brackets.

“The principal of the school told Billy [William Smith] that his contract would be terminated.”

Similarly, if a quotation referenced an event with which the reader might be unfamiliar, you could identify that event in brackets.

“We completely revised our political strategies after the strike [of 1934].”

Indicating the use of nonstandard grammar or spelling.

In rare situations, you may quote from a text that has nonstandard grammar, spelling, or word choice. In such cases, you may want to insert [sic], which means “thus” or “so” in Latin. Using [sic] alerts your reader to the fact that this nonstandard language is not the result of a typo on your part. Always italicize “sic” and enclose it in brackets. There is no need to put a period at the end. Here’s an example of when you might use [sic]:

Twelve-year-old Betsy Smith wrote in her diary, “Father is afraid that he will be guilty of beach [sic] of contract.”

Here [sic] indicates that the original author wrote “beach of contract,” not breach of contract, which is the accepted terminology.

Do not overuse brackets!

For example, it is not necessary to bracket capitalization changes that you make at the beginning of sentences. For example, suppose you were going to use part of this quotation:

“The colors scintillated curiously over a hard carapace, and the beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello.”

If you wanted to begin a sentence with an excerpt from the middle of this quotation, there would be no need to bracket your capitalization changes.

“The beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello,” said Dr. Grace Farley, remembering a defining moment on her journey to becoming an entomologist.

Not: “[T]he beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello,” said Dr. Grace Farley, remembering a defining moment on her journey to becoming an entomologist.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Barzun, Jacques, and Henry F. Graff. 2012. The Modern Researcher , 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. FitzGerald. 2016. The Craft of Research , 4th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Gibaldi, Joseph. 2009. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers , 7th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.

Turabian, Kate. 2018. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, Dissertations , 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Quote integration

Quote integration is arguably one of the most difficult parts of essay writing; however, it does not need to be. Here are some tips to make quote integration easier. 

First things first, the most basic way to integrate quotes into any piece of writing is with the following format

Signal phrase + Quote + Citations

  • Signal phrase: A short phrase or verb that indicates to the reader that you are going to introduce a quote.
  • Quote: Short quotes are less than four lines and can be integrated into the actual body of your essay. Quotes over four lines typically should be formatted as block quotes (based on the citation style you are using).
  • Citations in MLA 8th edition
  • Citations in APA 7 th
  • Citations in Chicago
  • Citations in AMA  

The following example follows the pattern of signal phrase , quote, and citation (in MLA style)

  • Exercise has many benefits for not only an individual’s present health but in the long term as well : “exercise is known to reduce a number of inflammatory markers…which are linked to a number of diseases” (Walton 1).

Another way to introduce a quote into a source is to use the author’s name as your signal phrase with a subsequent verb that is used to introduce the quote. For citation styles such as MLA or APA, when you start with the author’s name to introduce the source, the end of text citation only needs to have the page number/year.

  • Alice Walton writes that “exercise is one of the best-illustrated things we can do for our hearts, and this includes markers like blood pressure and cholesterol, in addition to the physical structure of the heart itself, and blood vessel function” (3).

Verbs to use to signal the beginning of a quotation

  • Demonstrates
  • Illustrates

Other methods to integrate a quote into a sentence

Introduce a quotation and have subsequent sentences that expand on the relevance.

  • This is the best way to integrate quotes into a paper. It is crucial that anytime you use from an outside source, you  explain the relevance of the quote to the rest of your paper .
  • Dr. Carrie Fisher details some of the most pressing ethical concerns that arise in the field of public health: “the primary ethical concern of public health officials is creating a balance between the common good and the right of the individual, when we undermine autonomy we create distrust among the general public, destabilizing the governing principles of public health” (2). Dr. Fisher’s concerns surrounding the field of public health echoes the main dilemma that has plagued the field since its conception. Her argument that undermining autonomy betrays public trust demonstrates that as public health officials it is crucial to understand that if individual autonomy is restricted, it can only be in the direst of circumstances.

Make the quotation part of a complete sentence

  • Current research indicates that exercise is beneficial for long-term health as it “can help control blood lipid abnormalities, diabetes, and obesity” (Fletcher et al., 1996).

Utilize brackets and ellipses to help improve clarity of a sentence

Brackets are used to add words to improve understanding. Ellipses are used to remove words to shorten a phrase.

  • According to physical therapist Dr. Smith, developing a consistent and sustainable workout foundation is the key to long term success: “[Workout programs] must be enjoyable, you cannot expect an individual to adhere to a regimen where they dread each day they must go. I recommend that individuals find a workout routine that both challenges them but also excites them, where it does not feel like a chore to workout” (2).

Here is an example sentence that utilizes all of these tactics to integrate a quote into a sentence

  • In the field of medicine, exercise recommendations remain hotly contested, “although a consensus is growing on the importance of the relation between physical activity and health and wellness, the specific dose of physical activity necessary for good health remains unclear… some of the inconsistency among physical activity recommendations is due simply to the inherent uncertainties of biomedical science” (Blair 2). It is crucial that the differing ideologies be addressed as they have the potential to impact the dissemination of information to the general public. The average American already struggles to meet the weekly exercise recommendations and conflicting information regarding these recommendations will only further exacerbate the issue.

Paraphrasing

  • You may be thinking “isn’t this supposed to be about integrating quotes into an essay?” You are correct; however, there are many times (and citation styles) where it is best to paraphrase a source instead of integrating a whole quote into the paper. Quote integration is crucial when the exact wording of the primary source is critical to the point being made, whereas paraphrasing is sufficient when restating the general idea is all that is required. 
  • Despite continual recommendations put forth by the CDC regarding exercise and physical activity “80% of the population is not meeting the guidelines. Each year in the US, an estimated 10% of premature deaths and $117 billion in healthcare costs are associated with inadequate physical activity” (Smith, 2017).

Paraphrased 

  • The CDC estimates that 80% of the United States population is not adhering to the guidelines regarding weekly physical activity recommendations (Smith 3). Inactive adults cost the U.S health care system an estimated $117 billion per year; estimates suggest 10% of premature deaths are due to inactivity (Smith, 2017).

*Remember that when paraphrasing a quote from a source an in-text citation is still included.

Common mistakes to avoid

Drop quotes.

This is when you “drop” a quote into your essay without any form of introduction; the most common mistake is making the quote its own sentence.

This is what you don’t want to do

  • There are numerous health benefits to working out. “Adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity gain some health benefits” (CDC).

A better way to approach this is

  • There are numerous health benefits to working. According to the CDC, “adults should move more and sit less throughout the day. Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity gain some health benefits” (2019).

Not using brackets

Using brackets when integrating a quote actually helps improve clarity while writing. Otherwise, if you integrate a quote directly without adjusting it through the use of brackets, the sentence can be confusing to readers.

  • Dr. Smith, talks to patients candidly about the importance of physical activity while they are young, “it is important that you start working out when you are younger as it helps you build up bone density, which can decrease the risk of developing arthritis as you get older” (Horton 3).
  • Dr. Smith talks to patients candidly about the importance of physical activity while they are young: “it is important that [individuals] start working out when [they] are younger as it helps [them] build up bone density, which can decrease the risk of developing arthritis as they get older” (Horton 3).

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How to use Quotes in an Essay in 7 Simple Steps

How to use Quotes in an Essay

A quote can be an effective and powerful literary tool in an essay, but it needs to be done well. To use quotes in an essay, you need to make sure your quotes are short, backed up with explanations, and used rarely. The best essays use a maximum of 2 quotes for every 1500 words.

Rules for using quotes in essays:

  • Avoid Long Quotes.
  • Quotes should be less than 1 sentence long.
  • Match Quotes with Explanations and Examples.
  • Use Max. 2 Quotes for 1500 words.
  • Use page numbers when Citing Quotes.
  • Don’t Italicize Quotes.
  • Avoid quotes inside quotes.

Once you have mastered these quotation writing rules you’ll be on your way to growing your marks in your next paper.

How to use Quotes in an Essay

1. avoid long quotes.

There’s a simple rule to follow here: don’t use a quote that is longer than one line. In fact,  four word quotes  are usually best.

Long quotes in essays are red flags for teachers. It doesn’t matter if it is an amazing quote. Many, many teachers don’t like long quotes, so it’s best to avoid them.

Too many students provide quotes that take up half of a paragraph. This will lose you marks – big time.

If you follow my  perfect paragraph formula , you know that most paragraphs should be about six sentences long, which comes out to about six or seven typed lines on paper. That means that your quote will be a maximum of one-sixth (1/6) of your paragraph. This leaves plenty of space for discussion in your own words.

One reason teachers don’t like long quotes is that they suck up your word count. It can start to look like you didn’t have enough to say, so you inserted quotes to pad out your essay. Even if this is only your teacher’s perception, it’s something that you need to be aware of.

Here’s an example of over-use of quotes in paragraphs:

Avoid Quotes that are Too Long

Children who grow up in poverty often end up being poor as adults. “Many adult Americans believe that hard work and drive are important factors on economic mobility. When statistics show that roughly 42% of children born into the bottom level of the income distribution will likely stay there (Isaacs, 2007), this Is a consequence of structural and social barriers.” (Mistry et al., 2016, p. 761). Therefore poverty in childhood needs to be addressed by the government.

This student made the fatal mistake of having the quote overtake the paragraph.

Simply put, don’t use a quote that is longer than one line long. Ever. It’s just too risky.

Personally, I like to use a 4-word quote in my essays. Four-word quotes are long enough to constitute an actual quote but short enough that I have to think about how I will fit that quote around my own writing. This forces me to write quotations that both show:

  • I have read the original source, but also:
  • I know how to paraphrase

2. Do not use a Quote to that takes up a full Sentence, Starts a Sentence, or Ends a Paragraph

These are three common but fatal mistakes.

Essay quotes that start sentences or end paragraphs make you appear passive.

If you use a quotation in an essay to start a sentence or end a paragraph, your teacher automatically thinks that your quote is replacing analysis, rather than supporting it.

You should instead start the sentence that contains the quote with your own writing. This makes it appear that you have an  active voice .

Similarly, you should end a paragraph with your own analysis, not a quote.

Let’s look at some examples of quotes that start sentences and end paragraphs. These examples are poor examples of using quotes:

Avoid Quotes that Start Sentences The theorist Louis Malaguzzi was the founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach to Education. “Children have the ability to learn through play and exploration. Play helps children to learn about their surroundings” (Malaguzzi, 1949, p. 10). Play is better than learning through repetition of drills or reading. Play is good for all children.

Avoid Quotes that End Paragraphs Before Judith Butler gender was seen as being a binary linked to sex, men were masculine and women were feminine. Butler came up with this new idea that gender is just something society has made up over time. “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler, 1990, p. 136).

Both these quotes are from essays that were shared with me by colleagues. My colleagues marked these students down for these quotes because of the quotes:

  • took up full sentences;
  • started sentences; and
  • were used to end paragraphs.

It didn’t appear as if the students were analyzing the quotes. Instead, the quotes were doing the talking for the students.

There are some easy strategies to use in order to make it appear that you are actively discussing and analyzing quotes.

One is that you should make sure the essay sentences with quotes in them  don’t start with the quote . Here are some examples of how we can change the quotes:

Example 1: Start Quote Sentences with an Active Voice The theorist Louis Malaguzzi was the founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach to Education. According to Malaguzzi (1949, p. 10), “children have the ability to learn through play and exploration.” Here, Malaguzzi is highlighting how to play is linked to finding things out about the world. Play is important for children to develop. Play is better than learning through repetition of drills or reading. Play is good for all children.

Here, the sentence with the quote was amended so that the student has an active voice. They start the sentence with According to Malaguzzi, ….

Similarly, in the second example, we can also insert an active voice by ensuring that our quote sentence does not start with a quote:

Example 2: Start Quote Sentences with an Active Voice In 1990, Judith Butler revolutionized Feminist understandings of gender by arguing that “gender is a fluid concept” (p. 136). Before Butler’s 1990 book  Gender Trouble , gender was seen as being a binary linked to sex. Men were masculine and women were feminine. Butler came up with this new idea that gender is just something society has made up over time.

In this example, the quote is not at the start of a sentence or end of a paragraph – tick!

How to Start Sentences containing Quotes using an Active Voice

  • According to Malaguzzi (1949, p. 10), “…”
  • Malaguzzi (1949, p. 10) argues that “…”
  • In 1949, Malaguzzi (p. 10) highlighted that “…”
  • The argument of Malaguzzi (1949, p. 10) that “…” provides compelling insight into the issue.

3. Match Quotes with Explanations and Examples

Earlier on, I stated that one key reason to use quotes in essays is so that you can analyze them.

Quotes shouldn’t stand alone as explanations. Quotes should be there to be analyzed, not to do the analysis.

Let’s look again at the quote used in Point 1:

Example: A Quote that is Too Long Children who grow up in poverty often end up being poor as adults.  “Many adult Americans believe that hard work and drive are important factors in economic mobility. When statistics show that roughly 42% of children born into the bottom level of the income distribution will likely stay there (Isaacs, 2007), this Is a consequence of structural and social barriers.”  (Mistry et al., 2016, p. 761). Therefore poverty in childhood needs to be addressed by the government.

This student has included the facts, figures, citations and key details in the quote. Essentially, this student has been lazy. They failed to paraphrase.

Instead, this student could have selected the most striking phrase from the quote and kept it. Then, the rest should be paraphrased. The most striking phrase in this quote was “[poverty] is a consequence of structural and social barriers.” (Mistry et al., 2016, p. 761).

So, take that one key phrase, then paraphrase the rest:

Example: Paraphrasing Long Quotes Children who grow up in poverty often end up being poor as adults. In their analysis, Mistry et al. (2016) highlight that there is a misconception in American society that hard work is enough to escape poverty. Instead, they argue, there is evidence that over 40% of people born in poverty remain in poverty. For Mistry et al. (2016, p. 761), this data shows that poverty is not a matter of being lazy alone, but more importantly  “a consequence of structural and social barriers.”  This implies that poverty in childhood needs to be addressed by the government.

To recap,  quotes shouldn’t do the talking for you . Provide a brief quote in your essay, and then show you understand it with surrounding explanation and analysis.

4. Know how many Quotes to use in an Essay

There’s a simple rule for how many quotes should be in an essay.

Here’s a good rule to follow: one quote for every five paragraphs. A paragraph is usually 150 words long, so you’re looking at  one quote in every 750 words, maximum .

To extrapolate that out, you’ll want a maximum of about:

  • 2 quotes for a 1500-word paper;
  • 3 quotes for a 2000-word paper;
  • 4 quotes for a 3000-word paper.

That’s the maximum , not a target. There’s no harm in writing a paper that has absolutely zero quotes in it, so long as it’s still clear that you’ve closely read and paraphrased your readings.

The reason you don’t want to use more quotes than this in your essay is that teachers want to see you saying things in your own words. When you over-use quotes, it is a sign to your teacher that you don’t know how to paraphrase well.

5. Always use page numbers when Citing Quotes in Essays

One biggest problem with quotes are that many students don’t know how to cite quotes in essays.

Nearly every referencing format requires you to include a page number in your citation. This includes the three most common referencing formats: Harvard, APA, and MLA. All of them require you to provide page numbers with quotes.

Citing a Quote in Chicago Style – Include Page Numbers

  • Incorrect: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler 1990).
  • Correct: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler 1990, 136).

Citing a Quote in APA and Harvard Styles – Include Page Numbers

  • Incorrect: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler, 1990).
  • Correct: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler, 1990, p. 136).

Citing a Quote in MLA Style – Include Page Numbers

  • Incorrect: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler).
  • Correct: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler 136).

Including a page number in your quotation makes a huge difference when a marker is trying to determine how high your grade should be.

This is especially true when you’re already up in the higher marks range. These little editing points can mean the difference between placing first in the class and third. Don’t underestimate the importance of attention to detail.

6. Don’t Italicize Quotes

For some reason, students love to use italics for quotes. This is wrong in absolutely every major referencing format, yet it happens all the time.

I don’t know where this started, but please don’t do it. It looks sloppy, and teachers notice. A nice, clean, well-formatted essay should not contain these minor but not insignificant errors. If you want to be a top student, you need to pay attention to minor details.

7. Avoid quotes inside quotes

Have you ever found a great quote and thought, “I want to quote that quote!” Quoting a quote is a tempting thing to do, but not worth your while.

I’ll often see students write something like this:

Poor Quotation Example: Quotes Inside Quotes Rousseau “favored a civil religion because it would be more tolerant of diversity than Christianity. Indeed ‘no state has ever been founded without religion as its base’ (Rousseau, 1913: 180).” (Durkheim, 1947, p. 19).

Here, there are quotes on top of quotes. The student has quoted Durkheim quoting Rousseau. This quote has become a complete mess and hard to read. The minute something’s hard to read, it loses marks.

Here are two solutions:

  • Cite the original source. If you really want the Rousseau quote, just cite Rousseau. Stop messing around with quotes on top of quotes.
  • Learn the ‘as cited in’ method. Frankly, that method’s too complicated to discuss here. But if you google it, you’ll be able to teach yourself.

When Should I use Quotes in Essays?

1. to highlight an important statement.

One main reason to use quotes in essays is to emphasize a famous statement by a top thinker in your field.

The statement must be  important. It can’t be just any random comment.

Here are some examples of when to use quotes in essays to emphasize the words of top thinkers:

  • The words of Stephen Hawking go a long way in Physics ;
  • The words of JK Rowling go a long way in Creative Writing ;
  • The words of Michel Foucault go a long way in Cultural Studies ;
  • The words of Jean Piaget go a long way in Education Studies .

2. To analyze an Important Statement.

Another reason to use quotes in essays is when you want to analyze a statement by a specific author. This author might not be famous, but they might have said something that requires unpacking and analyzing. You can provide a quote, then unpack it by explaining your interpretation of it in the following sentences.

Quotes usually need an explanation and example. You can unpack the quote by asking:

  • What did they mean,
  • Why is it relevant, and
  • Why did they say this?

You want to always follow up quotes by top thinkers or specific authors with discussion and analysis.

Quotes should be accompanied by:

  • Explanations of the quote;
  • Analysis of the ideas presented in the quote; or
  • Real-world examples that show you understand what the quote means.
Remember: A quote should be a stimulus for a discussion, not a replacement for discussion.

What Bad Quotes Look Like

Many teachers I have worked with don’t like when students use quotes in essays. In fact, some teachers absolutely hate essay quotes. The teachers I have met tend to hate these sorts of quotes:

  • When you use too many quotes.
  • When you use the wrong citation format.
  • When you don’t provide follow-up explanations of quotes.
  • When you used quotes because you don’t know how to paraphrase .

how to use quotes in an essay

Be a minimalist when it comes to using quotes. Here are the seven approaches I recommend for using quotes in essays:

  • Avoid Long Quotes in Essays
  • Do not use a Quote that takes up a full Sentence, Starts a Sentence, or Ends a Paragraph
  • Match Quotes with Explanations and Examples
  • Use a Maximum of 2 Quotes for every 1500 words
  • Always use page numbers when Citing Quotes in Essays
  • Don’t Italicize Quotes
  • Avoid quotes inside quotes

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Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 50 Durable Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 100 Consumer Goods Examples
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 30 Globalization Pros and Cons
  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 17 Adversity Examples (And How to Overcome Them)

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How to Block Quote | Length, Format and Examples

Published on April 25, 2018 by Courtney Gahan . Revised on May 31, 2023.

A block quote is a long quotation, set on a new line and indented to create a separate block of text. No quotation marks are used. You have to use a block quote when quoting more than around 40 words from a source.

In APA and MLA styles, you indent block quotes 0.5 inches from the left, and add an  in-text citation  after the period. Some other citation styles have additional rules.

Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you – haunt me, then! The murdered DO haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts HAVE wandered on earth. Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! only DO not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I CANNOT live without my life! I CANNOT live without my soul! (Brontë, 1847, 268)

Table of contents

How long is a block quote, step 1: introduce the quote, step 2: format and cite the quote, step 3: comment on the quote, when to use block quotes, other interesting articles.

The minimum length of a block quote varies between citation styles . Some styles require block quote formatting based on the number of words, while others require it based on the number of lines.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Every time you quote a source , it’s essential to show the reader exactly what purpose the quote serves. A block quote must be introduced in your own words to show how it fits into your argument or analysis.

If the text preceding the block quote is a complete sentence, use a colon to introduce the quote . If the quote is a continuation of the sentence that precedes it, you don’t need to add any extra punctuation .

lawmakers and regulators need to stop pharmaceutical companies from marketing drugs like OxyContin and establish stronger guidelines about how and when doctors can prescribe them. These drugs are often the last resort for people with cancer and other terminal conditions who experience excruciating pain. But they pose a great risk when used to treat the kinds of pain for which there are numerous non-addictive therapies available. (The Editorial Board, 2018)

Block quotes are not enclosed in quotation marks . Instead, they must be formatted to stand out from the rest of the text, signalling to the reader that the words are taken directly from a source. Each citation style has specific formatting rules.

APA and MLA format both require an indent of 0.5 inches on the left side. Block quotes are double spaced, the same as the rest of the document. Some other citation styles also require indentation on the right side, different spacing, or a smaller font.

To format a block quote in Microsoft Word, follow these steps:

  • Hit Enter at the beginning and end of the quote.
  • Highlight the quote and select the Layout menu.
  • On the Indent tab, change the left indent to 0.5″.

Block quotes of more than one paragraph

If you quote more than one paragraph, indent the first line of the new paragraph as you would in the main text.

Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.

Mr. Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills. He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large mustache. Mrs. Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbors. The Dursleys had a small son called Dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere. (Rowling 1)

Citing block quotes

All block quotes must end with a citation that directs the reader to the correct source. How the citation looks depends on the citation style. In most styles, including APA and MLA , the parenthetical citation comes after the period at the end of a block quote.

A paragraph should never end with a block quote. Directly after the quote, you need to comment on it in your own words. Depending on the purpose of the block quote, your comment might involve:

  • Analyzing the language of the quoted text
  • Explaining how the quote relates to your argument
  • Giving further context
  • Summarizing the overall point you want to make

Block quotes should be used when the specific wording or style of the quoted text is essential to your point. How often you use them depends partly on your field of study.

  • In the arts and humanities, block quotes are frequently used to conduct in-depth textual analysis .
  • In social science research involving interviews or focus groups , block quotes are often necessary when analyzing participants’ responses.
  • In scientific writing, block quotes are very rarely used.

Avoid relying on block quotes from academic sources to explain ideas or make your points for you. In general, quotes should be used as sparingly as possible, as your own voice should be dominant. When you use another author’s ideas or refer to previous research, it’s often better to integrate the source by paraphrasing .

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
  • What is ChatGPT?
  • Chicago style
  • Paraphrasing

 Plagiarism

  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

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How to Quote | Citing Quotes in Harvard & APA

Published on 15 April 2022 by Shona McCombes and Jack Caulfield. Revised on 3 September 2022.

Quoting means copying a passage of someone else’s words and crediting the source. To quote a source, you must ensure:

  • The quoted text is enclosed in quotation marks (usually single quotation marks in UK English, though double is acceptable as long as you’re consistent) or formatted as a block quote
  • The original author is correctly cited
  • The text is identical to the original

The exact format of a quote depends on its length and on which citation style you are using. Quoting and citing correctly is essential to avoid plagiarism , which is easy to detect with a good plagiarism checker .

How to Quote

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Table of contents

How to cite a quote in harvard and apa style, introducing quotes, quotes within quotes, shortening or altering a quote, block quotes, when should i use quotes, frequently asked questions about quoting sources.

Every time you quote, you must cite the source correctly . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style you’re using.

Citing a quote in Harvard style

When you include a quote in Harvard style, you must add a Harvard in-text citation giving the author’s last name, the year of publication, and a page number if available. Any full stop or comma appears after the citation, not within the quotation marks.

Citations can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in brackets after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.

  • Evolution is a gradual process that ‘can act only by very short and slow steps’ (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) . Darwin (1859) explains that evolution ‘can act only by very short and slow steps’ (p. 510) .

Complete guide to Harvard style

Citing a quote in APA Style

To cite a direct quote in APA , you must include the author’s last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas. If the quote appears on a single page, use ‘p.’; if it spans a page range, use ‘pp.’

An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in parentheses after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.

Punctuation marks such as full stops and commas are placed after the citation, not within the quotation marks.

  • Evolution is a gradual process that ‘can act only by very short and slow steps’ (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) .
  • Darwin (1859) explains that evolution ‘can act only by very short and slow steps’ (p. 510) .

Complete guide to APA

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Make sure you integrate quotes properly into your text by introducing them in your own words, showing the reader why you’re including the quote and providing any context necessary to understand it.  Don’t  present quotations as stand-alone sentences.

There are three main strategies you can use to introduce quotes in a grammatically correct way:

  • Add an introductory sentence
  • Use an introductory signal phrase
  • Integrate the quote into your own sentence

The following examples use APA Style citations, but these strategies can be used in all styles.

Introductory sentence

Introduce the quote with a full sentence ending in a colon . Don’t use a colon if the text before the quote isn’t a full sentence.

If you name the author in your sentence, you may use present-tense verbs, such as “states’, ‘argues’, ‘explains’, ‘writes’, or ‘reports’, to describe the content of the quote.

  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that: ‘A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: ‘A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: ‘A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ (p. 3).

Introductory signal phrase

You can also use a signal phrase that mentions the author or source but doesn’t form a full sentence. In this case, you follow the phrase with a comma instead of a colon.

  • According to a recent poll, ‘A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • As Levring (2018) explains, ‘A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ (p. 3).

Integrated into your own sentence

To quote a phrase that doesn’t form a full sentence, you can also integrate it as part of your sentence, without any extra punctuation.

  • A recent poll suggests that EU membership ‘would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ in a referendum (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that EU membership ‘would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ in a referendum (p. 3).

When you quote text that itself contains another quote, this is called a nested quotation or a quote within a quote. It may occur, for example, when quoting dialogue from a novel.

To distinguish this quote from the surrounding quote, you enclose it in double (instead of single) quotation marks (even if this involves changing the punctuation from the original text). Make sure to close both sets of quotation marks at the appropriate moments.

Note that if you only quote the nested quotation itself, and not the surrounding text, you can just use single quotation marks.

  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: ‘ ‘ Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, ‘ he told me, ‘ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ‘ ‘ (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: ‘”Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had “  (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: ‘“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had”’ (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway begins by quoting his father’s invocation to ‘remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had’ (Fitzgerald 1).

Note:  When the quoted text in the source comes from another source, it’s best to just find that original source in order to quote it directly. If you can’t find the original source, you can instead cite it indirectly .

Often, incorporating a quote smoothly into your text requires you to make some changes to the original text. It’s fine to do this, as long as you clearly mark the changes you’ve made to the quote.

Shortening a quote

If some parts of a passage are redundant or irrelevant, you can shorten the quote by removing words, phrases, or sentences and replacing them with an ellipsis (…). Put a space before and after the ellipsis.

Be careful that removing the words doesn’t change the meaning. The ellipsis indicates that some text has been removed, but the shortened quote should still accurately represent the author’s point.

Altering a quote

You can add or replace words in a quote when necessary. This might be because the original text doesn’t fit grammatically with your sentence (e.g., it’s in a different tense), or because extra information is needed to clarify the quote’s meaning.

Use brackets to distinguish words that you have added from words that were present in the original text.

The Latin term ‘ sic ‘ is used to indicate a (factual or grammatical) mistake in a quotation. It shows the reader that the mistake is from the quoted material, not a typo of your own.

In some cases, it can be useful to italicise part of a quotation to add emphasis, showing the reader that this is the key part to pay attention to. Use the phrase ’emphasis added’ to show that the italics were not part of the original text.

You usually don’t need to use brackets to indicate minor changes to punctuation or capitalisation made to ensure the quote fits the style of your text.

If you quote more than a few lines from a source, you must format it as a block quote . Instead of using quotation marks, you set the quote on a new line and indent it so that it forms a separate block of text.

Block quotes are cited just like regular quotes, except that if the quote ends with a full stop, the citation appears after the full stop.

To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more. (16)

Avoid relying too heavily on quotes in academic writing . To integrate a source , it’s often best to paraphrase , which means putting the passage into your own words. This helps you integrate information smoothly and keeps your own voice dominant.

However, there are some situations in which quotes are more appropriate.

When focusing on language

If you want to comment on how the author uses language (for example, in literary analysis ), it’s necessary to quote so that the reader can see the exact passage you are referring to.

When giving evidence

To convince the reader of your argument, interpretation or position on a topic, it’s often helpful to include quotes that support your point. Quotes from primary sources (for example, interview transcripts or historical documents) are especially credible as evidence.

When presenting an author’s position or definition

When you’re referring to secondary sources such as scholarly books and journal articles, try to put others’ ideas in your own words when possible.

But if a passage does a great job at expressing, explaining, or defining something, and it would be very difficult to paraphrase without changing the meaning or losing the weakening the idea’s impact, it’s worth quoting directly.

A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.

To present information from other sources in academic writing , it’s best to paraphrase in most cases. This shows that you’ve understood the ideas you’re discussing and incorporates them into your text smoothly.

It’s appropriate to quote when:

  • Changing the phrasing would distort the meaning of the original text
  • You want to discuss the author’s language choices (e.g., in literary analysis )
  • You’re presenting a precise definition
  • You’re looking in depth at a specific claim

Every time you quote a source , you must include a correctly formatted in-text citation . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style .

For example, a direct quote in APA is cited like this: ‘This is a quote’ (Streefkerk, 2020, p. 5).

Every in-text citation should also correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper.

In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quoting should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper.

In social sciences, it varies. If your research is mainly quantitative , you won’t include many quotes, but if it’s more qualitative , you may need to quote from the data you collected .

As a general guideline, quotes should take up no more than 5–10% of your paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.

If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarises other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA  recommends retaining the citations as part of the quote:

  • Smith states that ‘the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus’ (Smith, 2019, p. 4).

Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted.

If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase ‘as cited in’ in your citation.

A block quote is a long quote formatted as a separate ‘block’ of text. Instead of using quotation marks , you place the quote on a new line, and indent the entire quote to mark it apart from your own words.

APA uses block quotes for quotes that are 40 words or longer.

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McCombes, S. & Caulfield, J. (2022, September 03). How to Quote | Citing Quotes in Harvard & APA. Scribbr. Retrieved 8 March 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/working-sources/quoting/

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How to Use a Quote in an Essay

Benjamin Oaks

Table of Contents

USING QUOTES IN AN ESSAY

MLA in-text citation how-to

You can take a quote from different sources of information, such as books, magazines, websites or printed journals. Using quotes in an essay serves three goals:

  • Present additional evidence to support your point of view or oppose a claim or idea;
  • Help a reader better understand a topic under analysis;
  • Strengthen your argumentation on a topic using another writer’s eloquence.

Since quotes are mostly used in Humanities, you’ll have to follow MLA citation referencing guidelines. The Modern Language Association citation manual implies two types of quotes – short and long.

  • Short quote – Is less than 4 lines of typed text and can be embedded directly into a sentence;
  • Long quote – Is more than 4 lines of typed text and requires a separate content block in an essay without quotation marks.

Writing college essays, the recommendation is to use short quotes.

Parenthetical citation

Referring to the works of other authors in-text is done using a parenthetical citation . Such a method implies the author-page style of quoting. For example:

When it comes to writing, King suggests: “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” (5)

Given the MLA in-text citation already contains King’s last name, you shouldn’t mention it in the parenthesis. If the author’s name isn’t mentioned in-text, it has to be specified in a parenthetical citation.

When it comes to writing, there’s a quote I like the most: “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” (King 5)

According to MLA guidelines, at the end of the essay, there has to be the Works Cited page . It contains the full reference featuring author’s full name, the full title of the source, the volume, the issue number, the date of publishing, and the URL (if the source was found online). Here’s an example of the full referencing in the Works Cited:

King, Larry L. “The Collection of Best Works.” Oxford University Press, vol. 2, no. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017, http://www.prowritersdigest.com/editor-blogs/inspirational-quotes/72-of-the-best-quotes-about-writing.

How to start an essay with a quote?

Starting an essay with a quote is a matter of controversy. Experts in the pro camp suggest that a quote at the beginning of an essay helps make a powerful statement right from the start. Moreover, an interesting, captivating quote grabs the reader’s attention right from the start.

Experts from the against camp suggest that when you begin an essay with a quote, you miss on the opportunity to present your own take on the subject matter. In their opinion, when writing the introduction, you have to rely only on your words. Whereas quotes are most useful in the main body, serving as an additional argumentation. In conclusion, a quote can be placed, too.

PROS & CONS OF STARTING AN ESSAY WITH A QUOTE

How to use quotes in the middle of an essay?

Main Body is the place you’re meant to state a quote or two, depending on the length of a paper. A standard 5-paragraph essay will imply you to use 2-3 quotes in the main body. More quotes aren’t necessary for such a short assignment. Two quotes in the main body will do just fine.

In the main body paragraph, a quote is placed in the middle of the passage . First, you introduce a focal sentence of a paragraph highlighting your point of view regarding a topic. After that, you provide the evidence data and argumentation, among which is a relevant quote. And finally, you smoothly transit to the next body paragraph or the conclusion. Here’re three examples of how to present a quote in one of the main body paragraphs.

Accurate integration of a citation in a text is key. Or the whole passage will sound off.

People who want to become a writer don’t really need any piece of advice. “Those (…) who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”

College essay quotes have to be naturally embedded in a text .

People who want to become a writer don’t really need any piece of advice: “Those (…) who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”

There’s also the way to write an essay with quotes in the smoothest way possible.

People who want to become a writer don’t really need any piece of advice. They simply “know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”

See how organically a quote is inserted in a sentence? That’s the best-case scenario of using a quote in a sentence.

How to end an essay with a quote?

Sometimes, ending an essay with a quote is better than merely restating your thesis statement. Citations can be taken from both primary and secondary sources. Good quotes to end an essay might be of your course professor’s. According to essay writing websites , quotations taken from the words of subject authorities and thought leaders will do great, too.

A quote ending an essay helps meet 5 objectives:

  • Provide a solid closure to your essay;
  • Fortify your point of view;
  • Give one final argument in favor of your thesis statement;
  • Establish your authority on a topic;
  • Helps your essay stand out.

Having a quotation at the end of an essay gives a good chance to score an “A”.

15 tips for using quotations in an essay

  • Look up quotes in academic sources in the first place;
  • Rely on the printed matter rather than internet sources;
  • Avoid citing information from Wikipedia;
  • Give context to every quotation you use;
  • Always use quotation marks to avoid plagiarism-related troubles;
  • Explain why the quote you’re about to use in a text is important;
  • Seek to integrate quotes smoothly in a sentence for the best effect;
  • Each quotation has to be attributed to the original source using parenthesis;
  • Gather 10-15 quotes relevant to your topic and then sift through 5 quotes that will serve you best;
  • Use the exact wording, punctuation, capitalization and sentence structure as in the original;
  • Watch your punctuation when using quotes in a sentence;
  • Avoid misquotations, as it’s a sign of a careless attitude towards the assignment;
  • Use an ellipsis (…) to withdraw a part of a quote you don’t actually need;
  • Try to use short quotes rather than long;
  • Avoid quoting quotes, as it’s where students make mistakes most often.

5 motivational quotes for essay writing

Mask Group

Inspiration is a staple in every great writer’s routine. As a student, you might find drawing inspiration a bit too difficult. Here’re a couple of inspiring essay motivation quotes to help you break through the writer’s block. Or you can buy argumentative essay if doing the task yourself isn’t an option.

“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.”

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

“Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work . … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.”

“To defend what you’ve written is a sign that you are alive.”

Many times life catches us off balance. Lots of written homework. Tight schedule. Sudden illness. Personal matters. Writer’s block. An instructor returned the essay for revisions. At the moments like these, it’s always a good idea to have someone to cover your back. GradeMiners can always write you a new essay, rewrite an existing draft, perform an ending an essay with a quote, or proofread your text for mistakes, typos, as well as correct the use of quotations. Let us know if you need anything, and we’ll help you out!

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Using Long Quotations – Harvard Style

  • 2-minute read
  • 3rd January 2016

When writing an essay, we quote sources to support a point we’re making or to attribute particular ideas to a particular thinker. Using quotations judiciously is thus a vital study skill for every university student.

However, many people format longer quotations incorrectly in their work. Herein, we focus on Harvard style conventions for using quotations, in particular longer passages of text.

Quoting Sources – The Basics

Ideally, when quoting shorter passages, you should integrate them into the main body of your text. This is done by simply enclosing the quoted material inside ‘quotation marks’ and providing the relevant page numbers in your citation:

J. R. Irons (1948, p.1) says of bread that ‘there really is no other food to take its place’.

It’s worth noting that ‘single inverted commas’ are traditionally favoured in Australian English, but this has become more fluid lately, so you might want to check your university style guide on this matter.

Longer Quotations

Sometimes, however, you’ll need to quote a source more extensively. To do this, you can use a ‘block quote’. This is where the quoted text is separated from the main body of your work.

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Harvard conventions suggest doing this when quoting passages of 40-50 words (approximately four lines). To block quote, the quoted text must begin on a separate line after a colon and be inset from the rest of your essay, somewhat like this:

We must realise that bread is made to eat, and that the palate and not the eye must always be the deciding factor in how much is consumed. Bread will always have a place in the diet, but… there are signs that the bread of today is lacking – often dry, mostly under-fermented – and such is not likely to maintain sales. (Irons, 1948, p.4)

You’ll notice that indenting the text already distinguishes it from your own work, so quotations marks are not required in block quotations.

Depending on your style guide, you may also need to adjust the formatting of block quotes (e.g. changing the line spacing for quoted text). Whichever style you use, though, the important thing is that block quotes are:

a) Distinct from the main body of your work b) Clearly cited with the author name, year of publication and relevant page number(s) c) Presented consistently throughout your document

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Table of Contents

Collaboration, information literacy, writing process, inserting or altering words in a direct quotation.

  • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 by Nancy Lewis

What punctuation should be used when words are inserted or altered in a direct quotation?

When writers insert or alter words in a direct quotation, square brackets—[ ]—are placed around the change. The brackets, always used in pairs, enclose words intended to clarify meaning, provide a brief explanation, or to help integrate the quote into the writer’s sentence.  A common error writers make is to use parentheses in place of brackets.

How are square brackets used around clarifying or explanatory words?

Let’s look at an example:

Quotation with brackets used correctly around a clarifying word:

“It [driving] imposes a heavy procedural workload on cognition that . . . leaves little processing capacity available for other tasks” (Salvucci and Taatgen 107). [1]

Note : Brackets are placed around the inserted word in this example to let the reader know that ‘driving’ clarifies the meaning of the pronoun ‘it.’

Quotation with parentheses incorrectly used in place of brackets:

“It (driving) imposes a heavy procedural workload on cognition that . . . leaves little processing capacity available for other tasks” (Salvucci and Taatgen 107).

Note : Parentheses are used incorrectly in place of brackets in this example, making the inserted word look like it could be part of the original text.

Let’s look at another example:

Quotation with brackets used correctly around an explanatory insert:

“[D]riving is not as automatic as one might think; in fact, it imposes a heavy procedural workload [visual and motor demands] on cognition that . . . leaves little processing capacity available for other tasks” (Salvucci and Taatgen 107).

Note : Brackets are placed around the inserted words in this example to provide further explanation of the “procedural workload” discussed in the original text.

“[D]riving is not as automatic as one might think; in fact, it imposes a heavy procedural workload (visual and motor demands) on cognition that . . . leaves little processing capacity available for other tasks” (Salvucci and Taatgen 107).

Note : Parentheses are used incorrectly in place of brackets in this example, making the inserted words look like they are part of the original text.

How are square brackets used to help integrate a quote properly?

Original direct quotation beginning with an upper case letter:

“The heavy cognitive workload of driving suggests that any secondary task has the potential to affect driver behavior” (Salvucci and Taatgen 108).

Integrated quotation with brackets used correctly to indicate a change in letter case:

Salvucci and Taatgen propose that “[t]he heavy cognitive workload of driving suggests that any secondary task has the potential to affect driver behavior” (108).

Note : Brackets are placed around the lower-case letter ‘t’ to indicate that the letter case has been changed. The quotation is introduced by a signal phrase, which makes the quote an integral part of the writer’s sentence; as a result of this syntactical change, the upper case ‘T’ in the original is changed to a lower case letter.

Original direct quotation written in the past tense:

“Not coincidentally, drivers have been increasingly engaging in secondary tasks while driving” (Salvucci and Taatgen 68).

Note : The authors’ words appear in the past tense in the original text.

Quotation with brackets used correctly to indicate a change in verb tense:

“Not coincidentally, drivers [are] increasingly engaging in secondary tasks while driving” (Salvucci and Taatgen 68).

Note : Brackets are placed around the word ‘are’ to indicate that the verb has been changed to the present tense, which is the preferred tense for most writing in MLA style. The past tense is preferred for APA style writing. 

A word of caution : Bracketed insertions may not be used to alter or add to the quotation in a way that inaccurately or unfairly represents the original text. Quite simply, do not use bracketed material in a way that twists the author’s meaning.

Bracket Use: Quick Summary

[1] Salvucci, Dario D., and Niels A. Taatgen. Multitasking Minds . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2011. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) . Web. 20 Feb. 2012.

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In-Text Citations: The Basics

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This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

Note:  This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resource for the older APA 6 style  can be found here .

Reference citations in text are covered on pages 261-268 of the Publication Manual. What follows are some general guidelines for referring to the works of others in your essay.

Note:  On pages 117-118, the Publication Manual suggests that authors of research papers should use the past tense or present perfect tense for signal phrases that occur in the literature review and procedure descriptions (for example, Jones (1998)  found  or Jones (1998)  has found ...). Contexts other than traditionally-structured research writing may permit the simple present tense (for example, Jones (1998)  finds ).

APA Citation Basics

When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

If you are referring to an idea from another work but  NOT  directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication and not the page number in your in-text reference.

On the other hand, if you are directly quoting or borrowing from another work, you should include the page number at the end of the parenthetical citation. Use the abbreviation “p.” (for one page) or “pp.” (for multiple pages) before listing the page number(s). Use an en dash for page ranges. For example, you might write (Jones, 1998, p. 199) or (Jones, 1998, pp. 199–201). This information is reiterated below.

Regardless of how they are referenced, all sources that are cited in the text must appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

In-text citation capitalization, quotes, and italics/underlining

  • Always capitalize proper nouns, including author names and initials: D. Jones.
  • If you refer to the title of a source within your paper, capitalize all words that are four letters long or greater within the title of a source:  Permanence and Change . Exceptions apply to short words that are verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs:  Writing New Media ,  There Is Nothing Left to Lose .

( Note:  in your References list, only the first word of a title will be capitalized:  Writing new media .)

  • When capitalizing titles, capitalize both words in a hyphenated compound word:  Natural-Born Cyborgs .
  • Capitalize the first word after a dash or colon: "Defining Film Rhetoric: The Case of Hitchcock's  Vertigo ."
  • If the title of the work is italicized in your reference list, italicize it and use title case capitalization in the text:  The Closing of the American Mind ;  The Wizard of Oz ;  Friends .
  • If the title of the work is not italicized in your reference list, use double quotation marks and title case capitalization (even though the reference list uses sentence case): "Multimedia Narration: Constructing Possible Worlds;" "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry."

Short quotations

If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and page number for the reference (preceded by "p." for a single page and “pp.” for a span of multiple pages, with the page numbers separated by an en dash).

You can introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses.

If you do not include the author’s name in the text of the sentence, place the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation.

Long quotations

Place direct quotations that are 40 words or longer in a free-standing block of typewritten lines and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented 1/2 inch from the left margin, i.e., in the same place you would begin a new paragraph. Type the entire quotation on the new margin, and indent the first line of any subsequent paragraph within the quotation 1/2 inch from the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout, but do not add an extra blank line before or after it. The parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.

Because block quotation formatting is difficult for us to replicate in the OWL's content management system, we have simply provided a screenshot of a generic example below.

This image shows how to format a long quotation in an APA seventh edition paper.

Formatting example for block quotations in APA 7 style.

Quotations from sources without pages

Direct quotations from sources that do not contain pages should not reference a page number. Instead, you may reference another logical identifying element: a paragraph, a chapter number, a section number, a table number, or something else. Older works (like religious texts) can also incorporate special location identifiers like verse numbers. In short: pick a substitute for page numbers that makes sense for your source.

Summary or paraphrase

If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference and may omit the page numbers. APA guidelines, however, do encourage including a page range for a summary or paraphrase when it will help the reader find the information in a longer work. 

State of the Union fact check: What President Joe Biden got wrong (and right)

Though President Joe Biden largely stuck to the facts during his third State of the Union address Thursday, on several occasions he overstated the truth, left out key context or was simply wrong.

In a wide-ranging speech on issues including inflation, border security and conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, Biden on multiple occasions attacked – but never identified by name – his Republican opponent in November, former President Donald Trump. But in contrasting himself with his challenger and making his case for a second term, Biden occasionally strayed from the truth.

For example, in addressing the economy, a crucial campaign issue, he touted the inflation rate in the U.S. as “the lowest in the world” – even though dozens of countries, including G7 nations Canada and France, have rates that are lower.

Here are the other claims the USA TODAY Fact Check Team dug into.

More : State of the Union replay: Joe Biden hits hard; Katie Britt gives intense response

Prep for the polls: See who is running for president and compare where they stand on key issues in our Voter Guide

More from the Fact-Check Team: How we pick and research claims | Email newsletter | Facebook page

Claim: Trump told Putin ‘Do whatever the hell you want’

“Now my predecessor, a former Republican president, tells Putin, quote, ‘Do whatever the hell you want.’ That’s a quote. A former president actually said that, bowing down to a Russian leader.”

Biden mischaracterized Trump’s remarks, which weren’t nearly as broad as this framing implies.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Conway, South Carolina, on Feb. 10, Trump suggested he might not come to the aid of NATO member states attacked by Russia if they weren't contributing enough money to the alliance, USA TODAY reported.

“One of the presidents of a big country stood up and said, ‘Well sir, if we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?’" Trump said, according to the article. “I said, ‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’ He said, ‘Yes, let’s say that happened.’ No, I would not protect you.”

Trump added, “In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.”

– Andre Byik

Prior fact checks:

  • Fact check : False claim Putin told Carlson it's 'amusing' that US protects foreign borders
  • Fact check : False claim Putin told Carlson that Biden is a 'facade' for 'those in real power'

Claim: Gross domestic product is up since Biden took office

 “Since I’ve come to office, our GDP is up.”

Biden is correct that GDP has grown since he came to office in January 2021, but this is hardly a unique achievement. Every president since Harry Truman has experienced GDP growth from the beginning to the end of their presidency, according to data from the U.S. Federal Reserve .  

Herbert Hoover, who was president from 1929 to 1933 during the Great Depression, was the last president who saw GDP drop during his presidency, according to The Balance . 

GDP grew by about 22% from January 2021 to December 2023.

– Brad Sylvester

Fact check roundup : Gas tax, border and Social Security: These 2024 presidential candidate claims are misleading

Claim: US inflation rate is the lowest in the world

“Inflation has dropped from 9% to 3% – the lowest in the world!”

Biden is simply wrong here.

The inflation rate refers to the annual percent change in consumer prices compared with the previous year's prices. That number was 3.1% in the U.S. for the year ending in January 2024, a reduction from 3.4% the previous January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . 

But that’s not the lowest in the world.

The latest data from the International Monetary Fund shows the U.S. has a higher inflation rate than dozens of countries. Those with lower rates include G7 countries such as Canada and France (2.4% and 2.5% respectively) and other advanced economies such as New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland, Finland and China. The global average inflation rate is 5.8%, according to the IMF.

The U.S. inflation rate hit a four-decade peak of 9.1% in June 2022, the highest rate since 1981.

Claim: Biden administration cut the federal deficit by more than $1 trillion

"I’ve already cut the federal deficit by over $1 trillion. "

Biden is correct that the federal deficit has gone down by more than $1 trillion during his time in office. But his description fails to acknowledge the decline is primarily a result of the unique post-pandemic landscape. 

The drop was largely a result of "shrinking or expiring COVID relief," according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget , a nonpartisan group that promotes fiscal responsibility.

The deficit stood at about $3.1 trillion in 2020 and $2.8 trillion in 2021 , then fell to $1.4 trillion in 2022 before slightly increasing to $1.7 trillion in 2023 , according to the Congressional Budget Office. 

That’s still well above where it was before the pandemic. In 2019 the deficit was $984 billion .

– Chris Mueller

  • Fact check : Social Security does contribute to federal deficit and national debt
  • Fact check : False claim Trump increased debt more than any president

Claim: Trump said to ‘get over’ school shooting

“After another school shooting in Iowa, he said we should just get over it.”

Trump did use this phrase in remarks on Jan. 5 , but not as abruptly as Biden’s citation implies.

Speaking a day after a sixth grader was killed and five people were injured in a shooting at a high school in Perry, Iowa, Trump offered the victims and their families “our support and our deepest sympathies” and asked for comfort “for the whole state.”

Then came the comment Biden referenced:

“We’re really with you as much as anybody can be,” Trump said. “It’s a very terrible thing that happened, and it’s just horrible to see that happening. That’s just horrible. So surprising to see it here, but have to get over it. We have to move forward.”

Trump then resumed his condolences, saying, “But to the relatives and to all of the people that are so devastated right now, to a point they can’t breathe, they can’t live, we are with you and we love you and cherish you.”

– Joedy McCreary

  • Fact check : There is no growing 'trend' of transgender, nonbinary shooters, experts say
  • Fact check roundup : The mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas

Claim: Pandemic tax credit caused cut child poverty in half

“The Child Tax Credit I passed during the pandemic … cut child poverty in half”

This is accurate, but it's only half the story.

The child poverty rate fell from 12.6% in 2019 to  9.7% in 2020 to 5.2% in 2021 – the latter drop being its largest on record, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy , a nonpartisan think tank. The organization attributes the change to the Biden-endorsed expansion of the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

But that measure ran out in 2022, after which the child poverty rate shot back up, to a three-year high of 12.4%. That rise was “due almost entirely to the expiration of the CTC enhancements” along with other components of Biden’s COVID-19 response package, ITEP concluded.

In his speech, Biden called for restoring the Child Tax Credit.

Claim: US-China trade deficit lowest in more than a decade

"Our trade deficit with China is down to the lowest point in over a decade."

In 2023, the U.S. trade deficit with China declined by more than $100 billion to $279.4 billion , the smallest total since 2010 , Bloomberg reported. A trade deficit occurs when the value of a country's imports exceeds the value of its exports.

But Biden is taking credit for a trend that also has ties to his predecessor and 2024 opponent, Trump. Chinese imports have faced higher tariffs since Trump imposed them in 2018 .

The Biden administration has kept most of the Trump administration tariffs in place, according to the Tax Foundation . Biden's administration has taken additional steps to reduce China's role in U.S. supply chains and sought to increase trade with strategic allies, according to Bloomberg .

Claim: Alabama court 'shut down' IVF treatments

"The Alabama Supreme Court shut down IVF treatments across the state."

In late February, Alabama's largest hospital paused in vitro fertilization after the state's Supreme Court ruled embryos created during the treatment should be legally treated as children.

In vitro fertilzation, or IVF, refers to a medical procedure that combines eggs and sperm in a lab dish before transferring the fertilized eggs into the uterus, according to Yale Medicine .

But Biden, who had called the ruling by Alabama's high court "outrageous and unacceptable," didn’t quite tell the whole story. He failed to mention that state lawmakers this week gave final approval to legislation protecting in vitro fertilization providers and patients.

Claim: Prescription drugs cost 40% more in the U.S. than in other nations

“I’m going to get in trouble for saying that, but anyone who wants to get in Air Force One with me and fly to Toronto, Berlin, Moscow – I mean, excuse me, well, even Moscow, probably – and bring your prescription with you and I promise you I’ll get it for you for 40% the cost you’re paying now.”

Biden is mostly right here.

A 2024 report from Rand , a global policy think tank, found prescription drug prices in the U.S. average 2.78 times those seen in 33 other nations. The report uses data through 2022.

“Put another way, prices in other countries were 36 percent – or a little more than one-third – of those in the United States,” Rand reported.

Prices for unbranded generic drugs, which account for 90% of prescription volume in the U.S., are about 67% of the average cost in the comparison nations, according to a Rand news release about the study. That means the U.S. pays less in this category.

“These findings provide further evidence that manufacturers’ gross prices for prescription drugs are higher in the United States than in comparison countries,” said Andrew Mulcahy , a senior health economist at Rand, in the news release. “We find that the gap is widening for name-brand drugs, while U.S. prices for generic drugs are now proportionally lower than our earlier analysis found.”

  • Fact check : Experts say US doesn't use 87% of global prescriptions
  • Fact check: Post falsely links antidepressant use to school shootings

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or e-newspaper here .

UN Women Strategic Plan 2022-2025

International Women’s Day

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International women's day 2024 hero banner purple

This International Women’s Day, 8 March 2024, join the United Nations in celebrating under the theme Invest in women: Accelerate progress .

The world is facing many crises, ranging from geopolitical conflicts to soaring poverty levels and the escalating impacts of climate change. These challenges can only be addressed by solutions that empower women. By investing in women, we can spark change and speed the transition towards a healthier, safer, and more equal world for all.

Needed per year to achieve gender equality

An additional $360 billion is needed per year to achieve gender equality.

20% to boost GDP per capita could be achieved by closing the gender gap

Closing gender gaps in employment could boost GDP per capita by 20 per cent. 

300 million jobs created by 2030 by investing in care services

Closing gaps in care and expanding services with decent jobs could spark almost 300 million jobs by 2035.

If current trends continue, more than  342 million women and girls could be living extreme poverty  by 2030. To ensure women’s needs and priorities are considered, governments must prioritize gender-responsive financing and increase public spending on essential services and social protection.

Policymakers must also value, recognize, and account for the vital contribution women make to economies worldwide through paid and unpaid care work.  Women spend around three times more time on unpaid care work than men and if these activities were assigned a monetary value they would account for more than 40 per cent of GDP .

Investing in women and championing gender equality turbocharges a future where everyone in society can thrive, creating a world of boundless opportunity and empowerment for all.

Anne Hathaway's call to action on #IWD2024

Accelerating economic empowerment

Flor María

Why investing in women is a human rights issue

Nicole is one of few women working on the ships and docks at Port Victoria, Seychelles.

Five things to accelerate women’s economic empowerment

care-nexus-crop

Unpacking the care society: Caring for people and the planet

During a demonstration in downtown New York as part of the youth-lead global #ClimateStrike in 2019, a participant creates a sign that reads "Climate Change is not the Change We Are Looking For."

New report shows how feminism can be a powerful tool to fight climate change

Invest in women, accelerate progress.

Economic justice — Get the facts

Photo: UN Women/Fikerte Abebe.

FAQs: Economic empowerment

Veronica Grech equal pay illustration

Everything you need to know about pushing for pay equity

Scenes from the municipal market in Tucuru, Guatemala.

Facts and figures: Economic empowerment

gender responsive budgeting explainer

What is gender-responsive budgeting?

Gender bonds: A promising solution to accelerate SDG5

Gender bonds: A promising solution to accelerate SDG5

Gender bonds header image

Gender bonds: A toolkit for the design and issuance of gender bonds in Africa

Global voices of empowerment.

People take part in celebrations to mark the signing of declarations by council of elders in Kenya's Samburu and Mt. Elgon regions to end the practice of female genital mutilation.

Kenya and Zimbabwe invest in preventing violence against women and girls

Participants of the Accelerating Women-Owned Micro Enterprises programme showcase their fashion products in Gaborone, Botswana. Photo: UN Women.

EntreprenHER programme empowers women entrepreneurs in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa

In the heart of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, escalating violence has become a grim reality, leading to the mass displacement of women and children.

Haitian women and girls empowered by UN Women amid humanitarian crisis

rwanda_christine_wee

Investing in women’s safety and economic empowerment in Rwanda

The Kambuku Cooperative greenhouses are seen in rural Lilongwe, Malawi.

Women farmers in Malawi tackle climate change and gender inequalities through greenhouse programme

XYZ

Grants and training programmes empower women entrepreneurs in Cambodia and Viet Nam

Nunnaree Luangmoi heads the WEE Centre in Chiang Kong District.

Women learn new skills and push back against ethnic and gender prejudice in Thailand

Mariam Al-Gharableh, a Jordanian widow and mother of four, attended an Oasis Centre in the coastal city of Aqaba.

Women rise from poverty and gain economic independence through Oasis Centres in Jordan

Yuliia Zavalniuk is seen at the Ukrainian flower-growing farm Villa Verde. Photo courtesy of Villa Verde

Ukrainian entrepreneur uses flower business to bridge gender gaps during wartime

Agentes se gradúan de un curso de policía con perspectiva de género en Sudáfrica el 1 de diciembre de 2023.

South African women’s group trains police to respond to gender-based violence

24 Feb

Ukrainian refugees launch businesses and build a new community in Moldova

News and media.

UN Women logo

On International Women’s Day, UN Women calls on investing in women as the best solution to face growing crises

collage featuring various women from around the world

1 in every 10 women in the world lives in extreme poverty

Un secretary-general's message on international women's day.

IMAGES

  1. 001 How To Insert Quotes Into An Essay Example ~ Thatsnotus

    how to insert large quotes into an essay

  2. 001 How To Insert Quotes Into An Essay Example ~ Thatsnotus

    how to insert large quotes into an essay

  3. How to use Quotes in an Essay in 7 Simple Steps (2024)

    how to insert large quotes into an essay

  4. Using Quotes in an Essay: Ultimate Beginner's Guide

    how to insert large quotes into an essay

  5. 001 How To Insert Quotes Into An Essay Example ~ Thatsnotus

    how to insert large quotes into an essay

  6. 001 How To Insert Quotes Into An Essay Example ~ Thatsnotus

    how to insert large quotes into an essay

VIDEO

  1. Essay healthwith#quotes and#presentation #class #10#english

  2. How to Instantly Download/Import Stock Quotes into Excel (also works with Mutual Funds & ETFs)

  3. How to Make Your Essays Unique

  4. Integrating Quotes

  5. How to make essay longer

  6. Co-Education Essay Quotes || Co-Education Essay For 2nd Year Quotations || City Academy MG

COMMENTS

  1. MLA Formatting Quotations

    Start the quotation on a new line, with the entire quote indented 1/2 inch from the left margin while maintaining double-spacing. Your parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark. When quoting verse, maintain original line breaks. (You should maintain double-spacing throughout your essay.)

  2. How To Embed Quotes in Your Essay Like a Boss

    There are three main methods in how you can blend quotations into an essay: 1. Adding Words. Broken sentences are a common mistake made when students aim to integrate quotations into their sentences. Below are examples of broken sentences due to poor integration of a quotation: 'Solitary as an oyster'.

  3. How to Put a Quote in an Essay (with Pictures)

    If you use the author's name in your lead-in to the quote, you just need to provide the year in parentheses: According to Luz Lopez, "the green grass symbolizes a fresh start for Lia (24).". 2. Include the author's last name, the year, and the page number for APA format. Write the author's name, then put a comma.

  4. Integrating Quotations in MLA Style

    Use an ellipsis of three dots to shorten longer quotations by removing non-essential words and ideas from the middle of the quote. The quotation must fit grammatically into the sentence even with the ellipsis. It must also retain enough of the quotation so that it still makes sense in your essay and you do not distort its meaning.

  5. MLA Block Quotes

    To create a block quote in MLA, follow these four simple steps. Step 1: Introduce the quote. Always introduce block quotes in your own words. Start with a sentence or two that shows the reader why you are including the quote and how it fits into your argument. After the introductory sentence, add a colon, and then start the quote on a new line.

  6. How to Quote

    Citing a quote in APA Style. To cite a direct quote in APA, you must include the author's last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas. If the quote appears on a single page, use "p."; if it spans a page range, use "pp.". An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative.

  7. Long Quotes

    There are 4 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations: The line before your block quotation, when you're introducing the quote, ends with a colon. The bock quotation is indented half an inch from the rest of the text, so it looks like a block of text. There are no quotation marks needed when using block quotes.

  8. How to Put a Quote in an Essay (with Examples)

    Step 6: Explain the Quote. Explain the significance of the quote in your own words. This will help the reader understand how the quote supports your argument. Example: Jane Doe's quote highlights the urgency of addressing climate change as it poses a significant threat to human survival.

  9. PDF Integrating Quotations into Your Paragraphs

    Note paraphrase on or explain significance as At in together. of a word or. Comment ne the following and notice of the quote in the context of your argument. be Omission more effective to. In discussing the role of movies The font of the quotations integrates the quote into his/her. Example Vietnam War, 1:

  10. Quotations

    What this handout is about. Used effectively, quotations can provide important pieces of evidence and lend fresh voices and perspectives to your narrative. Used ineffectively, however, quotations can clutter your text and interrupt the flow of your argument. This handout will help you decide when and how to quote like a pro.

  11. Quote Integration

    Introduce a quotation and have subsequent sentences that expand on the relevance. This is the best way to integrate quotes into a paper. It is crucial that anytime you use from an outside source, you explain the relevance of the quote to the rest of your paper. Dr. Carrie Fisher details some of the most pressing ethical concerns that arise in ...

  12. PDF how to use quotes in your essay

    3. Interject the Author's Name into the Middle of the Quote. "In 2005, less than 10% of Johnson & Roe's employees reported their political affiliation," Yang (2007) reports, "but more than 50% reporteddiscussing politics with their colleagues.". Phrases & Words to Introduce Quotes. Phrases to Introduce the Quote.

  13. How to use Quotes in an Essay in 7 Simple Steps (2024)

    This Article was Last Expert Reviewed on January 20, 2023 by Chris Drew, PhD. How to use quotes in an essay: (1) Avoid Long Quotes, (2) Quotes should be less than 1 sentence long, (3) Match Quotes with Explanations and Examples, (4) Use Max. 2 Quotes for 1500 words, (5) Use page numbers when Citing Quotes, (6) Don't Italicize Quotes, (7 ...

  14. How to Block Quote

    Some other citation styles also require indentation on the right side, different spacing, or a smaller font. To format a block quote in Microsoft Word, follow these steps: Hit Enter at the beginning and end of the quote. Highlight the quote and select the Layout menu. On the Indent tab, change the left indent to 0.5″.

  15. How to Quote

    Citing a quote in APA Style. To cite a direct quote in APA, you must include the author's last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas. If the quote appears on a single page, use 'p.'; if it spans a page range, use 'pp.'. An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative.

  16. Using Quotes in an Essay: Ultimate Beginner's Guide

    Quotations are an instrument to prove your point of view is correct. An essay aiming for 85+ score points contains 2-4 quotes. Each citation supports the thesis statement and strengthens your argument. Quotations are mostly used in Humanities. Social Sciences rely more on paraphrasing, data analysis and statistics.

  17. INTEGRATING A QUOTATION INTO AN ESSAY Center for Writing and Speaking

    time you use a quotation from a source in an essay, introduce the author and the work that the quotation is attributed to before you use the actual quotation in the essay. Later in the essay, you simply need to address the author's last name before using the quotation. Try not to get stuck saying "he says/she says" throughout the whole essay.

  18. How to Work Quotes into an Essay

    Quoting After a Colon. One option for working quotes into an essay is adding them after a colon. This should always come at the end of a full sentence, such as in the following: Ackerman (2016, p. 232) acknowledges that pigeons are widely considered unintelligent: 'They're considered by some to be as dumb as a dodo (a close relative, in ...

  19. How to Integrate Quotes SEAMLESSLY in Your Essays

    If you need to place excerpts from books, poems, interviews, or other texts in your own essays, you can use the 3 methods explained in this video to weave qu...

  20. Using Long Quotations

    Subscribe. Harvard conventions suggest doing this when quoting passages of 40-50 words (approximately four lines). To block quote, the quoted text must begin on a separate line after a colon and be inset from the rest of your essay, somewhat like this: We must realise that bread is made to eat, and that the palate and not the eye must always be ...

  21. Quotations

    when an author has said something memorably or succinctly, or. when you want to respond to exact wording (e.g., something someone said). Instructors, programs, editors, and publishers may establish limits on the use of direct quotations. Consult your instructor or editor if you are concerned that you may have too much quoted material in your paper.

  22. Inserting or Altering Words in a Direct Quotation

    When writers insert or alter words in a direct quotation, square brackets—[ ]—are placed around the change. The brackets, always used in pairs, enclose words intended to clarify meaning, provide a brief explanation, or to help integrate the quote into the writer's sentence.

  23. In-Text Citations: The Basics

    In-text citation capitalization, quotes, and italics/underlining. Always capitalize proper nouns, including author names and initials: D. Jones. If you refer to the title of a source within your paper, capitalize all words that are four letters long or greater within the title of a source: Permanence and Change.

  24. Joe Biden's State of the Union: Fact check on what's right and wrong

    Here are the other claims the USA TODAY Fact Check Team dug into. More: State of the Union replay: Joe Biden hits hard; Katie Britt gives intense response. Prep for the polls: See who is running ...

  25. International Women's Day

    This International Women's Day, 8 March 2024, join the United Nations in celebrating under the theme Invest in women: Accelerate progress. The world is facing many crises, ranging from geopolitical conflicts to soaring poverty levels and the escalating impacts of climate change. These challenges ...