American Psychological Association

A direct quotation reproduces words verbatim from another work or from your own previously published work. It is best to paraphrase sources rather than directly quoting them because paraphrasing allows you to fit material to the context of your paper and writing style.

Use direct quotations rather than paraphrasing:

  • when reproducing an exact definition (see Section 6.22 of the Publication Manual ),
  • 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.

This page addresses how to format short quotations and block quotations. Additional information is available about how to:

  • include page numbers for quotations
  • cite quotations from material without page numbers
  • cite quotations that include errors
  • indicate changes to quotations
  • present quotations from research participants

Quotations are covered in the seventh edition APA Style manuals in the Publication Manual Sections 8.25 to 8.35 and the Concise Guide Sections 8.25 to 8.34

how do u quote a quote in an essay

Related handout

  • In-Text Citation Checklist (PDF, 227KB)

Short quotations (fewer than 40 words)

For quotations of fewer than 40 words, add quotation marks around the words and incorporate the quote into your own text—there is no additional formatting needed. Do not insert an ellipsis at the beginning and/or end of a quotation unless the original source includes an ellipsis.

Effective teams can be difficult to describe because “high performance along one domain does not translate to high performance along another” (Ervin et al., 2018, p. 470).

For a direct quotation, always include a full citation ( parenthetical or narrative ) in the same sentence as the quotation, including the page number (or other location information, e.g., paragraph number).

  • Place a parenthetical citation either immediately after the quotation or at the end of the sentence.
  • For a narrative citation, include the author and year in the sentence and then place the page number or other location information in parentheses after the quotation.
  • If the quotation precedes the narrative citation, put the page number or location information after the year and a comma.
  • If the citation appears at the end of a sentence, put the end punctuation after the closing parenthesis for the citation.
  • If the quotation includes citations, see Section 8.32 of the Publication Manual .
  • If the quotation includes material already in quotation marks, see Section 8.33 of the Publication Manual .
  • Place periods and commas within closing single or double quotation marks. Place other punctuation marks inside quotation marks only when they are part of the quoted material.

Block quotations (40 words or more)

Format quotations of 40 words or more as block quotations:

  • Do not use quotation marks to enclose a block quotation.
  • Start a block quotation on a new line and indent the whole block 0.5 in. from the left margin.
  • Double-space the entire block quotation.
  • Do not add extra space before or after it.
  • If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each subsequent paragraph an additional 0.5 in. See an example in Section 8.27 of the Publication Manual .
  • Either (a) cite the source in parentheses after the quotation’s final punctuation or (b) cite the author and year in the narrative before the quotation and place only the page number in parentheses after the quotation’s final punctuation.
  • Do not add a period after the closing parenthesis in either case.

Block quotation with parenthetical citation:

Researchers have studied how people talk to themselves:

Inner speech is a paradoxical phenomenon. It is an experience that is central to many people’s everyday lives, and yet it presents considerable challenges to any effort to study it scientifically. Nevertheless, a wide range of methodologies and approaches have combined to shed light on the subjective experience of inner speech and its cognitive and neural underpinnings. (Alderson-Day & Fernyhough, 2015, p. 957)

Block quotation with narrative citation:

Flores et al. (2018) described how they addressed potential researcher bias when working with an intersectional community of transgender people of color:

Everyone on the research team belonged to a stigmatized group but also held privileged identities. Throughout the research process, we attended to the ways in which our privileged and oppressed identities may have influenced the research process, findings, and presentation of results. (p. 311)

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MLA Formatting Quotations

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When you directly quote the works of others in your paper, you will format quotations differently depending on their length. Below are some basic guidelines for incorporating quotations into your paper. Please note that all pages in MLA should be double-spaced .

Short quotations

To indicate short quotations (four typed lines or fewer of prose or three lines of verse) in your text, enclose the quotation within double quotation marks. Provide the author and specific page number (in the case of verse, provide line numbers) in the in-text citation, and include a complete reference on the Works Cited page. Punctuation marks such as periods, commas, and semicolons should appear after the parenthetical citation.

Question marks and exclamation points should appear within the quotation marks if they are a part of the quoted passage, but after the parenthetical citation if they are a part of your text.

For example, when quoting short passages of prose, use the following examples:

When using short (fewer than three lines of verse) quotations from poetry, mark breaks in verse with a slash, ( / ), at the end of each line of verse (a space should precede and follow the slash). If a stanza break occurs during the quotation, use a double slash ( // ).

Long quotations

For quotations that are more than four lines of prose or three lines of verse, place quotations in a free-standing block of text and omit quotation marks. 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.)

For example, when citing more than four lines of prose, use the following examples :

Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration: They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house. (Bronte 78)

When citing long sections of poetry (four lines of verse or more), keep formatting as close to the original as possible.

In his poem "My Papa's Waltz," Theodore Roethke explores his childhood with his father:

The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We Romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother's countenance Could not unfrown itself. (qtd. in Shrodes, Finestone, Shugrue 202)

When citing two or more paragraphs, use block quotation format, even if the passage from the paragraphs is less than four lines. If you cite more than one paragraph, the first line of the second paragraph should be indented an extra 1/4 inch to denote a new paragraph:

In "American Origins of the Writing-across-the-Curriculum Movement," David Russell argues,

Writing has been an issue in American secondary and higher education since papers and examinations came into wide use in the 1870s, eventually driving out formal recitation and oral examination. . . .

From its birth in the late nineteenth century, progressive education has wrestled with the conflict within industrial society between pressure to increase specialization of knowledge and of professional work (upholding disciplinary standards) and pressure to integrate more fully an ever-widening number of citizens into intellectually meaningful activity within mass society (promoting social equity). . . . (3)

Adding or omitting words in quotations

If you add a word or words in a quotation, you should put brackets around the words to indicate that they are not part of the original text:

If you omit a word or words from a quotation, you should indicate the deleted word or words by using ellipses, which are three periods ( . . . ) preceded and followed by a space. For example:

Please note that brackets are not needed around ellipses unless they would add clarity.

When omitting words from poetry quotations, use a standard three-period ellipses; however, when omitting one or more full lines of poetry, space several periods to about the length of a complete line in the poem:

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  • How to Quote | Citing Quotes in Harvard & APA

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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how do u quote a quote in an essay

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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 10 July 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/working-sources/quoting/

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Other students also liked, how to paraphrase | step-by-step guide & examples, how to avoid plagiarism | tips on citing sources, the 5 types of plagiarism | explanations & examples.

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Collaboration, information literacy, writing process, quoting in mla – definition & examples.

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quoting in mla prose for proofreading

Quotations are effective in academic writing when used carefully and selectively. Although misquoting or quoting too much can confuse or overwhelm your audience, quoting relevant and unique words, phrases, sentences, lines, or passages can help you achieve your purpose.

The Modern Language Association (MLA) provides guidelines/rules for quoting:

  • Quotes within quotes.  

This article discusses rules for quoting both prose and quotes within quotes. It also addresses a few special issues, like what to do if there is a spelling error in a quote, as well as how to handle punctuation. Consult the MLA Handbook to review additional topics and learn more.

Writers must always accurately quote the source. If you decide to quote a source in order to support your thesis statement, reproduce the source word for word. Unless you use brackets or parentheses (see below), changes to the source’s words, spelling, capitalization, or punctuation cannot be made. Additionally, introducing the quote with a signal phrase helps you smoothly incorporate the quotation (“Quotations” 75).

Quoting Prose

The rules for quoting prose vary according to how much you quote. Adhere to the following guidelines.

Special Issues: Omissions in Passages

According to the MLA Handbook , if you must omit a word, phrase, or sentence from a quoted passage, mark the omission with ellipsis points (. . . ), or three spaced periods (80-81).

If you omit an entire sentence, use ellipses points, and retain rules for end punctuation (always place a period at the end of a declarative sentence). In other words, use four periods, with no space before the first or after the last. Follow this rule for a quotation with an ellipses at the end as well, except when a parenthetical citation follows the ellipses.

Original : “I know I have said this before and will say it again, but it bears repeating: if it’s not in the text, it doesn’t exist. We can only read what is present in a novel, play, or film. If something informed the author’s creation of the text but the evidence is not present in the text, that’s a matter for scholars concerned with motives, not with readers wrestling with meaning” (80). Quote with Omission : In How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas Foster emphasizes the importance of focusing on textual evidence: “I know I have said this before and will say it again, but it bears repeating: if it’s not in the text, it doesn’t exist. . . . If something informed the author’s creation of the text but the evidence is not

Explanation : Foster’s main point is that readers of literature should concern themselves with the evidence in the text. Pointing out that readers can only read what is actually present in a particular text is illustrative, but this assertion can be omitted without changing the meaning of the passage.

A Word of Caution : Never present a quote in a way that could cause a reader to misunderstand the original quote (80-81).

Additional Special Issues

Other Alterations of Quotes

There may be some occasions when you need to alter a quote in order to prevent the audience from becoming confused.

Original Quote Alteration Example of Alteration Explanation
Spelling or grammatical error Lisa admitted, “Nothing can diminish my interest in .” (sic) Lisa admitted, “Nothing can diminish my interest in Shakespear” (sic). The final “e” in Shakespeare is missing, so the writer has included (sic) after the quote to inform the audience that the spelling error is present in the original source.
Necessary Comment or Explanation Although some aspects of the play are puzzling, there is no doubt that Hamlet wishes to avenge his father’s murder. feels morally bound to do so. brackets Although some aspects of the play are puzzling, there is no doubt that Hamlet wishes to avenge his father’s murder. He [Hamlet] feels morally bound to do so. Without clarifying the antecedent of the subject of the second sentence (he/Hamlet), readers may assume the subject is the closest masculine noun (Hamlet’s father).

Punctuation

In the book Subliminal, Leonard Mlodinow explains the role that technology has played in furthering our understanding of the unconscious: “The current revolution in thinking about the unconscious came about because, with modern instruments, we can watch as different structures and substructures in the brain generate feelings and emotions. We can measure the electrical output of individual neurons” (15).
As Harry Frankfurt cautions, “The fact that a person could not have avoided doing something is a sufficient condition of his having done it. But, as some of my examples show, this fact may play no role whatever in the explanation of why he did it” (8).
To further explain the principle of diminishing marginal utility of income, Watts quotes Abba Lerner, who argues that the principle ““can be derived from the assumption that consumers spend their income in a way that maximizes the satisfaction they can derive from the good obtained’” (Lerner qtd. in Watts 141).
“No!” she emphatically responded, for the third time.
Do you agree with Watts’s view regarding the essential difference between persons and other creatures: that it is to be found in the “structure of a person’s will” (12)? The question mark is not part of the quoted material, so it should be placed outside the closing quotation mark.

Quoting prose in MLA format can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, the MLA has offered clear guidelines for doing so. Consult the MLA Handbook to learn more about quoting in MLA.

Works Cited

Foster, Thomas. How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines . Revised Edition. Harper Perennial, 2014.

Frankfurt, Harry. The Importance of What We Care About. Cambridge UP, 1998.

Mlodinow, Leonard. Subliminal : How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior . Vintage Books, 2012.

“Quotations.” The MLA Handbook . 8 th edition. The Modern Language Association of America, 2016, pp. 75-91.

Smith, James Jr. The Writer’s Little Helper . Writer’s Digest Books, 2006.

Watts, Alan. The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are . 1966. VintageBooks, 1989.

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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

Chris

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd-2/ 25 Classroom Wall Decoration Ideas
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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”:

add remark exclaim
announce reply state
comment respond estimate
write point out predict
argue suggest propose
declare criticize proclaim
note complain opine
observe think note

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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  • When to Use Quotation Marks (“”) | Rules & Examples

When to Use Quotation Marks ("") | Rules & Examples

Published on May 21, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 29, 2022 by Jack Caulfield.

Quotation marks (also known as quotes or inverted commas) are used to indicate direct speech and quotations.

In academic writing, you need to use quotation marks when you quote a source . This includes quotes from published works and primary data such as interviews . The exception is when you use a block quote, which should be set off and indented without quotation marks.

Whenever you quote someone else’s words, use a signal phrase to introduce it and integrate the source into your own text. Don’t rely on quotations to make your point for you.

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Table of contents

Single vs. double quotation marks, quotes within quotes, punctuation following quotations, quotation marks for source titles, indirect quotation, scare quotes, frequently asked questions about quotation marks.

There are two types of quotation marks: ‘single’ and “double.” Which one to choose generally depends on whether you are using US or UK English . The US convention is to use double quotation marks, while the UK convention is usually to use single quotation marks.

Single vs. double quotation marks
US English UK English

Double quotation marks can also be acceptable in UK English, provided you are consistent throughout the text. APA Style requires double quotations.

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When your quotations are nested (i.e., a quote appears inside another quote), you should use the opposite style of quotation marks for the nested quotation.

Quotes within quotes in US and UK English
US English UK English

US and UK English also differ on where to place punctuation within quotation marks.

  • In US English,  commas and periods that follow a quote are placed within the quotation marks.
  • In UK English, all punctuation marks are placed outside the quotation marks, except when they are part of the original quotation.
Punctuation placement with quotes in US and UK English
US English UK English

In all variants of English, a question mark appears inside the quotation marks when the person quoted was asking a question, but outside when it’s you asking the question.

  • Smith asks, “How long can this situation continue?”
  • How many participants reported their satisfaction as “high”?

Note that when you include a parenthetical citation after a quote, the punctuation mark always comes after the citation (except with block quotes ).

  • Solis described the situation as “precarious” (2022, p. 16).

Some source titles (e.g., the title of a journal article) should be presented in quotation marks in your text. Others are italicized instead (or occasionally written in plain text).

The rules for how to format different source titles are largely the same across citation styles, though some details differ. The key principles apply in all the main styles:

  • Use italics for sources that stand alone
  • Use quotation marks for sources that are part of another source

Some examples are shown below, with the proper formatting:

  • The Routledge Companion to Critical Theory [book]
  • “Poststructuralism” [book chapter]
  • Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology [journal]
  • “What Is Personality Disorder?” [journal article]
  • Friends [TV series]
  • “The One Where Rachel Quits” [TV episode]

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Indirect quotation means reporting what someone said without using exactly the same words they did.

It’s a lot like paraphrasing , except that you’re only changing the words you need to in order to fit the statement into your new sentence grammatically. For example, changing the pronouns or the verb tense .

Indirect quotation is more common in everyday speech, but it can occur in academic writing too. When it does, keep in mind that you should only use quotation marks around words taken directly from the original speaker or author.

  • One participant stated that “he found the exercises frustrating.”
  • One participant stated that he found the exercises frustrating.
  • One participant described the exercises as “frustrating.”

“Scare quotes” are quotation marks used around words that are not a direct quotation from a specific source. They are used to signal that a term is being used in an unusual or ironic way, that it is borrowed from someone else, or that the writer is skeptical about the term.

  • Many politicians have blamed recent electoral trends on the rise of “fake news.”

While scare quotes have their uses in academic writing (e.g., when referring to controversial terms), they should only be used with good reason. Inappropriate use of scare quotes creates ambiguity.

  • The institution organized a fundraiser in support of “underprivileged children.”
  • Scientists argue that “global warming” is accelerating due to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The “Brexit” negotiations are still ongoing.

In these examples, the words within scare quotes are widely accepted terms with clear meanings that can’t be attributed to a specific person or source. Using quotation marks implies skepticism about the concepts in question.

The use of single and double quotation marks when quoting differs between US and UK English . In US English, you must use double quotation marks. Single quotation marks are used for quotes within quotes.

In UK English, it’s most common to use single quotation marks, with double quotation marks for quotes within quotes, although the other way around is acceptable too.

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

If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarizes other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA and Chicago both recommend retaining the citations as part of the quote. However, MLA recommends omitting citations within a quote:

  • APA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
  • MLA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).

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

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.

Quotes within quotes are punctuated differently to distinguish them from the surrounding quote .

  • If you use double quotation marks for quotes, use single quotation marks for quotes within quotes.
  • If you use single quotation marks for quotes (e.g., in UK English ), use double quotation marks for quotes within quotes.

Make sure to close both sets of quotes!

Indirect quotation means reporting what someone said (or wrote) but not using their exact words. It’s similar to paraphrasing , but it only involves changing enough words to fit the statement into your sentence grammatically (e.g., changing the tense or the pronouns ).

Since some of the words have changed, indirect quotations are not enclosed in quotation marks .

Sources in this article

We strongly encourage students to use sources in their work. You can cite our article (APA Style) or take a deep dive into the articles below.

McCombes, S. (2022, November 29). When to Use Quotation Marks ("") | Rules & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved July 10, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/language-rules/quotation-marks/
Butterfield, J. (Ed.). (2015).  Fowler’s dictionary of modern English usage  (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.
Garner, B. A. (2016).  Garner’s modern English usage (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

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Should I say/write the n-word in a quote?

I'm quoting a book (To Kill A Mockingbird) and using a quote where the n-word is used. Later I'm going to have to read that out loud while my teacher also has a copy. Should I censor the word when reading or writing it?

Han-Nha Tiet's user avatar

  • 11 This is potentially a very controversial question that may not have a "right" answer. It's difficult to predict how your teacher or classmates will react. I would suggest that you ask your teacher how to handle this. –  Nate Eldredge Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 22:08
  • 1 Possible duplicate of How to handle swear words in quote / transcription? –  user0721090601 Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 5:05
  • 7 This is very country- and culture-dependent. I'd expect in the US this would be a very delicate matter. In many parts of the world, no one would care. –  user68958 Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 7:07
  • 2 Note that the intent of using such a word is all important. To Kill a Mockingbird is not, in fact, a racist book though it contains racist words. Whether it is the best anti-racist view is open to debate, since it pits good white men against bad white men, leaving black men without agency. But it tries to point out the evil effects of racism and needs strong words to do so. There are a lot of other words in English that also attempt to deny the humanity of others. Don't use them in those ways. But also, consider the sensitivities of your audience. –  Buffy Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 13:39

3 Answers 3

I'd suggest being faithful to the original. If you are quoting, you should provide the passage verbatim as it is in your source material.

lukeg's user avatar

As this is for a class, ask your teacher. If it was for a conference, it would be ask the chair and for a publication it would be ask the editor.

My preference would be to first determine if the quote provides something that a paraphrasing cannot. If I could paraphrase the jist, that is almost always my preference, even if the quote is not problematic. If you must quote, then you need to decide if you need to censor (or provide a disclaimer) about the language. Your style guide might help you here (but that is like asking the teacher/chair/editor).

As for presenting it when reading your paper, I would probably just omit the word with a pronounced pause, unless the word was key. If the word is key, then everyone will understand why it has to be said.

StrongBad's user avatar

  • 1 I don't know any style guide that provides for censoring. Any form of censorship would —at least in the literature world— be interpreted as self-censorship on the original author's part. But absolutely +1 for really asking whether the quote is necessary. –  user0721090601 Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 5:08
  • 2 This seems awfully specific to the US and even then an enormous amount of trouble for the use of one word. It would be rather hard to come across as a responsible adult when seriously asking for such a trivial permission either orally or in writing. I guess, one might attempt to diffuse the situation by making the question about paraphrasing, but runs the risk at being ridiculous when people realize what the original intent of the request was. –  user3209815 Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 13:39
  • @user3209815 I don't know, the BBC has editorial guidelines regarding offensive language. Most of the major English language style guides are a little US centric (e.g., AP, Chicago, MLA, APA) –  StrongBad Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 14:02
  • 2 @StrongBad I do not doubt that the modern English language is US dominated, but I wanted to stress that there are other cultures and languages in the world. I can see why the US culture is particularly sensitive to hate speech, being one of the largest perpetrators of hate crimes in history, but other nations have also their various forms of insulting and discriminatory language. That being said, the BBC guidelines you provided illustrate nicely that "context is key to the acceptability of language". In my opinion, the context of citing someone allows to restate it verbatim. –  user3209815 Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 8:40

The book you are quoting from is very well-known, and it is unlikely that an audience would be unfamiliar with the language it uses. If you were to quote it verbatim, I doubt that this would be particularly controversial. Nevertheless, it should also be possible to quote the book passage in an altered form in a way that is not misleading to the audience. In any case, when giving a quotation from any source, to illustrate some point, it is acceptable to alter the quote so long as you have a valid reason (in the context of what you are saying) and you obey some basic rules. If you are going to alter a quotation to avoid offensive language, you need to do the following:

Proper attribution: Your alteration should be clearly attributed to you, so the audience knows that this is not a verbatim quote of the source. In written form this is accomplished by using the proper syntax for alterations (e.g., using ... to omit words or using [replacement] to replace words). In oral presentations you can get the same effect by showing the quote on the screen or by explicitly noting your change.

Don't mislead the audience: Ensure that the altered language does not mislead the audience on any material point relating to your presentation. In this post you refer to the "n-word" rather than saying the actual word, but we all know exactly what you mean, so it would probably not be misleading to use this as a substitute term. I recommend against replacing a particular epithet with a generalised [epithet] replacement, since the content of the epithet is relevant to the story.

With these points in mind, have a think about what you want to get across with your quote, and whether there is any particular necessity to include the racial epithet. If you want to omit the particular epithet, but make sure the audience knows which epithet was omitted, you could write something like this:

“Don’t you believe a word he says, Dill,” I said. “Calpurnia says that’s [n-word] talk.” ---- To Kill a Mockingbird , Ch 4

For a spoken presentation of the same thing, you should always ensure that you do not mislead the audience on the actual material. If you are using the textual replacement above, it would probably be worth noting at the start of your talk that you intend to do this, and that the book is uncensored.

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George clooney pens op-ed calling for biden to step aside.

“He saved democracy in 2020,” wrote the longtime Democrat who helped fundraise for the president. “We need him to do it again in 2024.”

By Kevin Dolak

Kevin Dolak

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On Wednesday,  The New York Times  op-ed section  published a blunt essay  from George Clooney , in which the actor and director, one of Hollywood’s more engaged political players, forcefully argues for President Joe Biden to step aside in his campaign for reelection and allow a new candidate to take on Donald Trump in November.

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“Was he tired? Yes. A cold? Maybe,” Clooney wrote of the debate performance that has sent Democrats into a panic and that is now dividing the party. “But our party leaders need to stop telling us that 51 million people didn’t see what we just saw. We’re all so terrified by the prospect of a second Trump term that we’ve opted to ignore every warning sign. The George Stephanopoulos interview only reinforced what we saw the week before. As Democrats, we collectively hold our breath or turn down the volume whenever we see the president, who we respect, walk off Air Force One or walk back to a mic to answer an unscripted question.”

Clooney writes that while it may seem unfair to point out Biden’s perceived cognitive decline given his advanced age, “it has to be fair” because Democracy is at stake. He asserts that running Biden at the top of the ticket will not only lose the Democrats the presidency, it will cost them the House and Senate majority, which is within the grasp of both major parties in November; Clooney says that every single senator and congressional representative that he has spoken to privately agrees with this prediction.

“We Democrats have a very exciting bench,” Clooney asserts. “We don’t anoint leaders or fall sway to a cult of personality; we vote for a president.”

The Oscar winner for the political thriller  Syriana  and nominee for  Good Night, and Good Luc k, which follows the conflict between journalist Edward R. Murrow and U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, floated the idea of several prominent Democrats stepping up to lead the ticket in November. Clooney suggests in the essay that the nominating process at the 2024 Democratic National Convention could “enliven our party and wake up voters.”

In closing, Clooney gives Biden credit for steering the nation away from the paths of the Trump administration and says he must repeat the feat.

“Joe Biden is a hero; he saved democracy in 2020,” he wrote. “We need him to do it again in 2024.”

According to a news story on the op-ed that The New York Times published Wednesday, two sources said that the gala fundraiser was planned around Clooney’s schedule — not Biden’s — and the event’s timing demanded that in a short window of time, Biden fly from a Group of 7 gathering to California and back to Washington. Following the debate, Biden explained his dismal performance as the result of a cold and jet lag.

Roberts and Kimmel, along with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, have not yet commented on whether Biden should stay or step aside , despite several influential celebrity Democratic donors like Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, media mogul Barry Diller, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and millionaire Disney heiress Abigail Disney calling on the Democratic party to replace Biden on the ticket.

In response to Clooney’s op-ed later on Wednesday, Michael Douglas, a longtime Biden supporter who hosted a Hollywood fundraiser at his home for the president in April, said he too was “deeply, deeply concerned” about Biden’s reelection prospects after the debate, but he stopped short of withdrawing his support for Biden for 2024.

Following up on he r monologue in support of Biden on Monday’s show, The View ‘s Whoopi Goldberg said that she continues to support th president — even when Douglas and her   cohost Joy Behar said that Biden should have focused on Trump’s lies during the debate. To that notion, a flummoxed Goldberg said, “But then when he does that…You know, you can’t win in this game. I really feel bad for him. If he can’t do the job and we see he can’t do the job, then he’s gotta go, but until I can see that, I’m going to support him.”

Jackie Strause contributed to this story.

July 10, 10 a.m. Updated to include Michael Douglas’ The View quotes.

July 10, 11 a.m. Updated to include details about the planning of the Clooney-hosted fundraiser.

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New York Times editorial board calls Donald Trump 'unfit to lead,' urges voters to reject reelection bid

how do u quote a quote in an essay

WASHINGTON - The New York Times' editorial boar d called on voters to reject Donald Trump' s reelection bid, alleging that the former president is "unfit to lead" a second term. 

“Mr. Trump has shown a character unworthy of the responsibilities of the presidency. He has demonstrated an utter lack of respect for the Constitution, the rule of law and the American people,” wrote the Times editorial board, made up of opinion journalists, in a piece published Thursday.

“Instead of a cogent vision for the country’s future, Mr. Trump is animated by a thirst for political power: to use the levers of government to advance his interests, satisfy his impulses and exact retribution against those who he thinks have wronged him,” they added. 

In the piece, the editorial board outlined five “essential” qualities and values that they feel a president must have - and that they say Trump fails on: moral fitness, principled leadership, character, a president’s words and rule of law.

“We urge voters to see the dangers of a second Trump term clearly and to reject it,” they wrote. 

Last month, the New York Times editorial board published a piece calling on President Joe Biden to drop out of the 2024 race following a disastrous debate performance. The president struggled to complete sentences during the showdown and articulate his pitch to voters.

The Times argued in its op-ed piece at the time that "the president is engaged in a reckless gamble," adding that "it's too big a bet to simply hope Americans will overlook or discount Mr. Biden's age and infirmity that they see with their own eyes."

Since the debate, a growing handful of Democratic lawmakers have called on Biden to pass the torch and exit the 2024 race for the White House.

Rep. Hillary Scholten, D-Mich., on Thursday became the 10th House member to publicly call for Biden to leave the presidential race, adding to the drip of lawmakers pushing for change.

Contributing: Riley Beggin, USA TODAY

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Spain vs. England Euro 2024 final odds: Spain favored to win for the fourth time

MUNICH, GERMANY - JULY 09: Nico Williams of Spain controls the ball during the UEFA EURO 2024 Semi-Final match between Spain and France at Munich Football Arena on July 09, 2024 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The Euro 2024 final is set and Spain is the favorite heading into Sunday’s meeting with England. The Spaniards emerged as the tournament favorite after beating Germany in a quarterfinal and remain the favorite after getting by France in a semifinal.

England was the favorite once the knockout stage started. The Three Lions had a less difficult path to the final, but did come from behind to beat the Netherlands in Wednesday’s semifinal.

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With a win, Spain would become the nation with the most European championships. Spain and Germany both have won the title three times. Spain’s previous wins came in 1964 (at home), 2008 and 2012.

England has never won at the Euros, but is making a second straight appearance in the final. England lost in penalties to Italy at Wembley Stadium in London three years ago.

All odds from BetMGM . Odds to win or draw are over 90 minutes.

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Spain vs. England

Regular time odds:

This match is a meeting of two teams that got to the final in opposite ways.

Spain cruised through the group stage with three wins, the only team in the tournament to do so. The quarterfinal win against Germany required extra time, but wins against Georgia and France were more convincing. On pure aesthetics, Spain has been one of the most entertaining teams to watch and it’s easy to argue Spain has looked like the best team throughout.

Meanwhile, England labored throughout the tournament to get here. The Three Lions beat Serbia 1-0 in their opener, but were unimpressive in draws against Slovenia and Denmark to close out group play. Then, England trailed for over an hour against Slovakia and needed a 95th minute goal from Jude Bellingham to force extra time in that match. In the quarterfinals, Switzerland took the lead in the 75th minute, but England answered again and eventually won in penalties. The Netherlands scored first in the semifinal, but Ollie Watkins produced a 90th-minute winner.

England trailed in all three knockout games and won only two of its six matches inside 90 minutes. Manager Gareth Southgate has been under pressure for the English being defensive and mostly uninteresting to watch, but the results have been good enough.

In some ways, England is similar to Spain’s semifinal opponent, France. France is an incredibly talented side that has had fantastic results in recent years, but struggled to score and was, to put it bluntly, not interesting to watch considering the ability on the squad. England has made semifinals at three of the past four major tournaments and has a talented squad on paper, but has also been downright dull to watch for much of this tournament. England probably played its best game of the tournament against the Dutch, but Spain is a step up in level of competition.

It’s a one-match final between two of the powers in the sport so Spain isn’t a massive favorite, but the odds clearly favor Spain. This is not viewed as a toss-up. Spain is a bigger favorite against England than it was against France (and a bigger favorite than England was against the Netherlands). This is the first time this tournament that England has not been favored.

More Euro 2024 coverage

Spain take risks and reap the rewards – it’s what makes them so different at Euro 2024

Ollie Watkins ‘lost for words’ after sending England to Euro 2024 final: ‘It’s the best feeling ever’

Dani Olmo, Spain’s shy Euro 2024 Golden Boot leader and €60m summer transfer target

Late substitute Watkins hits winner to set up Euro 2024 final with Spain

(Photo of Nico Williams: Justin Setterfield / Getty Images)

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Dan Santaromita

Dan Santaromita is a senior editor for sports betting at The Athletic. Dan previously wrote for NBC Sports Chicago and ProSoccerUSA. He is a University of Missouri graduate who resides in Chicago. Follow Dan on Twitter @ TheDanSanto

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How to Quote and Cite a Play in an Essay Using MLA Format

Last Updated: October 12, 2023

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . 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. This article has been viewed 391,055 times.

MLA (Modern Language Association) format is a popular citation style for papers and essays. You may be unsure how to quote and cite play using MLA format in your essay for a class. Start by following the correct formatting for a quote from one speaker or from multiple speakers in the play. Then, use the correct citation style for a prose play or a verse play.

Template and Examples

how do u quote a quote in an essay

Quoting Dialogue from One Speaker

Step 1 Include the author and title of the play.

  • For example, if you were quoting a character from the play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, you would write, In Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , the character Honey says...

Step 2 Name the speaker of the quote.

  • For example, if you are quoting the character George from the play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee, you would write, “George says,…” or “George states,…”.

Step 3 Put the quote in quotation marks.

  • For example, if you are quoting from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , you would write: Martha notes, "Truth or illusion, George; you don’t know the difference."

Step 4 Put slashes between verse lines.

  • For example, if you were quoting from Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure , you would write: Claudio states “the miserable have no other medicine / But only hope.”

Quoting Dialogue from Multiple Speakers

Step 1 Put a blank space between the body of your paper and the first line.

  • You do not need to use quotation marks when you are quoting dialogue by multiple speakers from a play. The blank space will act as a marker, rather than quotation marks.

Step 2 Indent the speaker names 1 inch (2.54 cm) from the left margin.

  • MARTHA. Truth or illusion, George; you don’t know the difference.
  • GEORGE. No, but we must carry on as though we did.
  • MARTHA. Amen.

Step 3 Indent the dialogue ¼ inch (0.63cm) from the left margin.

  • Verse dialogue is indented 1 ¼ inch (3.17cm) from the left margin.

Step 4 Include the stage directions.

  • RUTH. Eat your eggs, Walter.
  • WALTER. (Slams the table and jumps up) --DAMN MY EGGS--DAMN ALL THE EGGS THAT EVER WAS!
  • RUTH. Then go to work.
  • WALTER. (Looking up at her) See--I’m trying to talk to you ‘bout myself--(Shaking his head with the repetition)--and all you can say is eat them eggs and go to work.

Citing a Quote from a Prose Play

Step 1 Put the citation in the text using parentheses.

  • If you are quoting dialogue from one speaker, place the citation at the end of the quoted dialogue, in the text.
  • If you are quoting dialogue from multiple speakers, place the citation at the end of the block quote.

Step 2 Cite the author’s name.

  • For example, you may write: “(Albee…)” or “(Hansberry…)”

Step 3 Note the title of the play.

  • For example, you may write, “(Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ...).”
  • If you have mentioned the title of the play once already in an earlier citation in your essay, you do not need to mention it again in the citations for the play moving forward.

Step 4 Include the page number and the act number.

  • For example, you may write, “(Albee 10; act 1).
  • If you are including the title of the play, you may write: “(Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 10; act 1).”

Citing a Quote from a Verse Play

Step 1 Place the citation in-text.

  • For example, if the quote appears in act 4, scene 4 of the play, you will write, “(4.4…)”.

Step 3 Include the line number or numbers.

  • For example, if the quote appears on lines 33 to 35, you will write, “(33-35).”
  • The completed citation would look like: “(4.4.33-35)”.

Expert Q&A

Christopher Taylor, PhD

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Cite Sources in Chicago Manual of Style Format

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About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To quote and cite a play in your essay using MLA format, start by referencing the author and title of the play in the main body of your essay. Then, name the speaker of the quote so it’s clear who’s talking. For example, write, “In Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? the character Honey says…” After introducing the quote, frame the dialogue with quotation marks to make it clear that it’s a direct quote from a text. If your dialogue is written in verse, use forward slashes to indicate each line break. For more tips from our English co-author, including how to quote dialogue between multiple speakers in your essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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