What this handout is about

Used effectively, quotations can administer important pieces of evidence and lend fresh voices and also perspectives to your narrative. Provided ineffectively, however, quotations deserve to clutter your text and also interrupt the flow of your argument. This handout will aid you decision when and how to quote favor a pro.

You are watching: When incorporating direct quotations into writing, what is the function of brackets?

When must I quote?

Use quotations at strategically selected moments. You have probably been told by teachers to provide as much evidence as feasible in assistance of her thesis. But packing your document with quotations will certainly not have to strengthen your argument. The majority of your document should quiet be your original concepts in your own words (after all, it’s her paper). And also quotations are just one type of evidence: well-balanced papers may additionally make usage of paraphrases, data, and also statistics. The types of evidence you usage will depend in component on the conventions of the self-control or audience because that which you are writing. Because that example, papers assessing literature might rely heavily on direct quotations of the text, while documents in the society sciences might have more paraphrasing, data, and statistics than quotations.

Discussing particular arguments or ideas

Sometimes, in bespeak to have a clear, accurate conversation of the principles of others, you should quote those ideas word because that word. Intend you desire to an obstacle the adhering to statement make by man Doe, a popular historian:

“At the beginning of world War Two, nearly all american assumed the war would end quickly.”

If that is specifically important the you build a counterargument to this claim, climate you can wish to quote the component of the statement the you ptcouncil.netover questionable and establish a dialogue in between yourself and John Doe:

Historian john Doe has argued that in 1941 “almost every Americans assumed the battle would end quickly” (Doe 223). Yet during the very first six month of U.S. Involvement, the wives and also mothers of soldiers often provided in your diaries their are afraid that the battle would drag on for years.

Giving added emphasis to a specifically authoritative source on her topic.

There will be times when you want to to mark the indigenous of a an especially important and also authoritative source on her topic. For example, expect you were writing an essay about the differences in between the lives of male and female slaves in the U.S. South. Among your many provocative sources is a narrative written by a former slave, Harriet Jacobs. It would certainly then be ideal to quote some of Jacobs’s words:

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

In this particular example, Jacobs is providing a critical first-hand view on slavery. Thus, her words deserve an ext exposure 보다 a paraphrase might provide.

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

Analyzing just how others use language.

This scenario is probably most usual in literature and also linguistics courses, yet you might likewise find you yourself writing around the use of language in history and social science classes. If the use of language is your major topic, climate you will certainly obviously have to quote individuals of that language.

Examples of topics that might require the regular use of quote include:

Southern colloquial expression in william Faulkner’s irradiate in August

Ms. And also the development of a language of mrs empowerment

A compare of three British poets and their usage of rhyme

Spicing up your prose.

In order come lend range to her prose, you might wish to quote a source with specifically vivid language. All quotations, however, must carefully relate to your topic and also arguments. Carry out not insert a quotation exclusively for its literature merits.

One example of a quotation the adds flair:

President Calvin Coolidge’s tendency to fall asleep ended up being legendary. Together H. L. Mencken comment in the American Mercury in 1933, “Nero fiddled, however Coolidge just snored.”

How perform I set up and follow up a quotation?

Once you’ve closely selected the quotations that you desire to use, your following job is come weave those quotations right into your text. The words the precede and also follow a quotation are just as important as the quotation itself. You can think of every quote together the pour it until it is full in a sandwich: it may be tasty top top its own, yet it’s confusing to eat without some bread on either side of it. Her words have the right to serve as the “bread” that helps reader digest every quote easily. Listed below are four guidelines for setup up and also following increase quotations.

In portraying these four steps, we’ll use as ours example, Franklin Roosevelt’s famed quotation, “The just thing we have to are afraid is are afraid itself.”

1. Administer context because that each quotation.

Do not depend on quote to tell your story for you. The is your responsibility to administer your reader through context because that the quotation. The paper definition should collection the basic scene for when, perhaps where, and also under what scenarios the quotation was spoken or written. So, in offering context because that our over example, you can write:

When Franklin Roosevelt provided his inaugural decided on march 4, 1933, he handle a nation weakened and demoralized by economic depression.

2. Attribute every quotation come its source.

Tell her reader that is speaking. Right here is a good test: shot reading your message aloud. Could your reader recognize without looking at your record where her quotations begin? If not, you must attribute the quote more noticeably.

Avoid obtaining into the “he/she said” attribution rut! over there are plenty of other methods to attribute estimates besides this construction. Below are a couple of alternative verbs, usually followed by “that”:

addremarkexclaim
annoptcouncil.netereplystate
commentrespondestimate
writepoint outpredict
arguesuggestpropose
declarecriticizeproclaim
notecomplainopine
observethinknote

Different reporting verb are desired by different disciplines, so pay special attention to this in her disciplinary reading. If you’re unfamiliar with the interpretations of any kind of of these words or rather you discover in your reading, consult a dictionary before using them.

3. Describe the meaning of the quotation.

Once you’ve inserted your quotation, along with its context and also attribution, don’t stop! Your leader still demands your assessment of why the quotation holds significance for her paper. Making use of our Roosevelt example, if you were composing a document on the first one-hundred job of FDR’s administration, you can 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 gain back the faith of the American civilization in your government.

4. Administer a citation because that the quotation.

All quotations, just like all paraphrases, call for a officially citation. For more details about particular citation formats, watch the ptcouncil.net Libraries quote tutorial. In general, you need to remember one preeminence of thumb: place the parenthetical referral or footnote/endnote number after—not within—the close up door quotation mark.

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

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

How carry out I embed a quotation into a sentence?

In general, prevent leaving quotes as sentences unto themselves. Even if you have detailed some context for the quote, a quote standing alone can disrupt her flow. Take it a look in ~ this example:

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s case that thwarted ambition brought about his depression. “I might be bounded in a nutshell and also count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

Standing by itself, the quote’s connection to the coming before sentence is ptcouncil.netlear. There space several methods to combine a quote an ext smoothly:

Lead into the quote v a colon.

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

The colon annoptcouncil.netes that a quote will certainly follow to carry out evidence for the sentence’s claim.

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

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

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

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

Interrupt the quote v an attribution come the speaker. Again, girlfriend will should 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 provides it so” (Hamlet 2.2).

“And death shall be no more,” Donne writes, “Death thou shalt die” (“Death, Be no Proud,” l. 14).

Dividing the quote might highlight a details nuance that the quote’s meaning. In the first example, the division calls fist to the two parts of Hamlet’s claim. The an initial phrase says that naught is inherently great or bad; the 2nd phrase argues that ours perspective causes things to become great or bad. In the 2nd example, the isolation that “Death you shalt die” in ~ the end of the sentence paint, etc a reader’s fist to that expression in particular. As you decide whether or not you want to rest up a quote, friend should think about the transition in focus that the division might create.

Use the indigenous of the quote grammatically within your very own sentence.

When Hamlet speak Rosencrantz the he “could it is in bounded in a nutshell and also count self a king of unlimited space” (Hamlet 2.2), he implies that thwarted ambition did not cause his depression.

Ultimately, fatality holds no strength over Donne due to the fact that in the afterlife, “death shall be no more” (“Death, Be not Proud,” l. 14).

Note that as soon as you usage “that” after ~ the verb that introduces the quote, girlfriend no much longer need a comma.

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

How lot should i quote?

As couple of words together possible. Remember, your record should mostly contain your own words, for this reason quote only the most pithy and memorable parts of sources. Right here are guidelines for selecting quoted material judiciously:

Excerpt fragments.

Sometimes, you should quote quick fragments, fairly than entirety sentences. Suppose you interviewed mrs Doe around her reaction to man F. Kennedy’s assassination. She commented:

“I couldn’t believe it. It was simply unreal and also so sad. That was just unbelievable. I had actually never experienced such denial. I don’t recognize why ns felt for this reason strongly. Possibly it was due to the fact that JFK was much more to me 보다 a president. He stood for the really hopes of young world everywhere.”

You can quote all of Jane’s comments, however her very first three sentences are fairly redundant. You could instead desire to quote Jane once she arrives at the ultimate factor for her solid emotions:

Jane Doe grappled v grief and also disbelief. She had actually viewed JFK, not just as a national figurehead, yet as someone who “represented the wishes of young civilization everywhere.”

Excerpt those fragments carefully!

Quoting the indigenous of others carries a huge responsibility. Misquoting misrepresents the concepts of others. Here’s a classic example that a misquote:

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

John Adams did, in fact, compose the over words. Yet if you watch those words in context, the an interpretation changes entirely. Here’s the remainder of the quotation:

Twenty times, in the course of my so late reading, have I been on the allude of break out, ‘this would certainly be the finest of all feasible worlds, if there to be no religious beliefs in it!!!!’ yet in this exclamation, i should have been together fanatical together Bryant or Cleverly. There is no religion, this people would it is in something no fit to be discussed in publicly company—I mean hell.

As you deserve to see from this example, paper definition matters!

This instance is indigenous Paul F. Boller, Jr. And John George, They never Said It: A publication of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions (Oxford college Press, 1989).

Use block quotations sparingly.

There may be times as soon as you should quote lengthy passages. However, you must use block quotations only when you fear that omitting any type of words will ruin the verity 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 taking care of block quotes correctly in papers for different scholastic disciplines–check the index of the citation layout guide you are using. Here space a couple of general tips for setup off your block quotations:

Set up a block quotation v your very own words followed by a colon.Indent. You typically indent 4-5 spaces because that the start of a paragraph. When setting up a block quotation, indent the entire paragraph as soon as from the left-hand margin.Single an are or twin space in ~ the block quotation, relying on the style guidelines of your self-control (MLA, CSE, APA, Chicago, etc.).Do not use quotation marks in ~ the start or finish of the block quote—the indentation is what suggests that it’s a quote.Place parenthetical citation according come your style guide (usually after ~ the period following the last sentence that the quote).Follow up a block quotation with your very own words.

So, using the above example from man Adams, here’s just how you can include a block quotation:

After reading several doctrinally strict tracts, john Adams recalled the zealous ranting the his previous teacher, Joseph Cleverly, and also minister, Lemuel Bryant. That expressed his ambivalence toward religious beliefs in an 1817 letter to thomas Jefferson:

Twenty times, in the food of my late reading, have actually I to be on the suggest of breaking out, ‘this would be the finest of all feasible worlds, if there to be no faith in it!!!!’ however in this exclamation, ns should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something no fit come be mentioned in windy company—I typical hell.

Adams plainly appreciated religion, even if he regularly questioned the promotion.

How execute I combine quotation clues with various other pptcouncil.nettuation marks?

It deserve to be confusing as soon as you start combining quotation clues with other pptcouncil.nettuation marks. You need to consult a format manual for complex situations, yet the following two rules use to many cases:

Keep periods and also commas in ~ quotation marks.

So, because that example:

According come Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety around the separation in between human and also animal,” and werewolf movies regularly “interrogate those boundaries.”

In the above example, both the comma and period were enclosed in the quotation marks. The main exception to this preeminence involves the usage of interior citations, which constantly precede the last period of the sentence. For example:

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

Note, however, the the duration remains within the quotation marks as soon as your citation style requires superscript note or endnotes. Because that example:

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

Place all various other pptcouncil.nettuation point out (colons, semicolons, exclamation marks, question marks) outside the quotation marks, except when castle were component of the original quotation.

Take a look at the adhering to examples:

I couldn’t believe it as soon as my girlfriend passed me a keep in mind in the cafe saying the administration “started charging $15 per hour for parking”!

The coach yelled, “Run!”

In the first example, the author placed the exclamation suggest outside the quotation mark due to the fact that she added it it s her to emphasize the outrageous nature the the parking price change. The original note had not consisted of an exclamation mark. In the 2nd example, the exclamation note remains within the quotation mark since it is indicating the excited ton in which the coach yelled the command. Thus, the exclamation mark is taken into consideration to be component of the original quotation.

How do I show quotations in ~ quotations?

If you space quoting a passage that contains a quotation, climate you use single quotation marks because that the internal quotation. Fairly rarely, you quote a i that has a quotation in ~ a quotation. In the rare instance, you would certainly use double quotation marks for the second internal quotation.

Here’s an instance of a quotation in ~ a quotation:

In “The Emperor’s brand-new Clothes,” Hans Christian Andersen wrote, “‘But the Emperor has actually nothing on in ~ all!’ cry a tiny child.”

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

When execute I usage those three dots ( . . . )?

Whenever you want to leave out product from in ~ a quotation, you have to use an ellipsis, i m sorry is a collection of three periods, every of which must be preceded and followed through a space. So, one ellipsis in this sentence would certainly look choose . . . This. There space a few rules to follow when using ellipses:

Be certain that girlfriend don’t fundamentally readjust the an interpretation of the quotation through omitting material.

Take a look in ~ the following example:

“The Writing facility is situated on the ptcouncil.net campus and also serves the entire ptcouncil.net community.”

“The Writing facility . . . Offer the entire ptcouncil.net community.”

The reader’s knowledge of the creating Center’s mission to serve the ptcouncil.net neighborhood is not affected by omitting the information around its location.

Do not usage ellipses at the start or finishing of quotations, uneven it’s essential for the leader to know that the quotation was trptcouncil.netated.

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

“The Writing center is situated on the ptcouncil.net campus . . .”

The Writing center ” . . . Serves the whole ptcouncil.net community.”

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

For example, if you take product from the end of a sentence, save the duration in together usual.

“The guys ran come school, forgetting your lptcouncil.nethes and books. Even though castle were the end of breath, castle made the on time.”

“The boys ran come school. . . . Also though lock were the end of breath, lock made the on time.”

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

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

“The red automobile came to a screeching halt . . . , but no one to be hurt.”

Is it ever okay come insert my own words or adjust words in a quotation?

Sometimes it is vital for clarity and also flow to alter a native or words within a quotation. You should make such changes rarely. In order to alert your leader to the changes you’ve made, you should constantly bracket the transformed words. Here are a few examples of cases when you might need brackets:

Changing verb tense or pronoun in order to be continuous with the remainder of the sentence.

Suppose you to be quoting a mrs who, once asked about her experience immigrating to the unified States, commented “nobody interpreted me.” You can write:

Esther Hansen feeling that as soon as she concerned the United states “nobody construed .”

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

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

Including supplemental info that her reader demands in order to understand the quotation.

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

“The principal of the institution told Billy that his contract would be terminated.”

Similarly, if a quotation referenced an occasion with i m sorry the reader can be unfamiliar, you could identify that occasion in brackets.

“We completely revised our political methods after the to win .”

Indicating the use of nonstandard grammar or spelling.

In rare situations, you might quote native a text that has nonstandard grammar, spelling, or indigenous choice. In together cases, you may want come insert , which means “thus” or “so” in Latin. Using alerts your reader to the fact that this nonstandard language is no the an outcome of a typo on her part. Always italicize “sic” and also enclose that in brackets. There is no should put a duration at the end. Here’s an example of when you might use :

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

Here suggests that the original author wrote “beach the contract,” not breach that contract, i beg your pardon is the welcomed terminology.

Do no overuse brackets!

For example, the is not important to clip capitalization changes that you make at the start of sentences. For example, expect you to be going come use component of this quotation:

“The colour scintillated curiously over a difficult carapace, and also the beetle’s tiny antennae made tenderness waving motions as despite saying hello.”

If you want to begin a sentence v an excerpt native the center of this quotation, there would be no need to bracket your capitalization changes.

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

Not: “he beetle’s small antennae made gentle waving motions as despite saying hello,” said Dr. Grace Farley, psychic a specifying moment ~ above her journey to coming to be an entomologist.

Works consulted

We consulted these fptcouncil.nettions while writing this handout. This is no a considerable list of resources on the handout’s topic, and also we encourage friend to execute your own research come find added publications. Please do not use this list together a model for the layout of your own reference list, as it may not complement the citation layout you room using. For guidance on formatting citations, please check out the ptcouncil.net Libraries citation tutorial. Us revise these tips periodically and also welcome feedback.

Barzun, Jacques, and also Henry F. Graff. 2012. The modern Researcher, sixth ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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

Gibaldi, Joseph. 2009. MLA Handbook for writers of research Papers, 7th ed. Brand-new York: The modern Language association of America.

See more: How Does The Presence Of A Catalyst Affect The Enthalpy Change Of A Reaction?

Turabian, Kate. 2018. A hands-on for authors of term Papers, Theses, Dissertations, 9th ed. Chicago: university of Chicago Press.

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