How to Quote Sources?
Published byat August 14th, 2021 , Revised On October 19, 2023
Direct quotations are the original words of the author, which are used without rephrasing. Indirect quotations, on the other hand, include all unpublished material of the other authors such as videos and audios, interviews, talk shows.
In academics, you can use direct quotes to support your ideas, arguments, concepts, and discussions but you need to credit the author. To avoid plagiarism students should also know how to paraphrase academic sources.
When to Use Direct Quotations?
You can use direct quotations only
- If you can’t rephrase the original content without changing its meaning.
- If the author made his point very clear and you can’t express it concisely better than the author.
- When you want to use the original words as evidence of your research, you can use direct quotes.
- If the original words give information about the author, and you want to appreciate his language and perception.
Avoid using a large portion of the text, and don’t rely entirely on the author’s quotes. If you use too many quotes in your work, then it may look like patchwork and gives the impression that you have borrowed too many ideas from others, and your voice remains dominated by the original author’s words throughout the topic. It’s always best to rephrase the quotes instead of using them directly.
How to Use Direct Quotes?
Read and understand the meaning of the text entirely before using it as failing to understand it properly may affect your discussion. Make sure to copy the exact quote entirely without rephrasing by enclosing it in quotation marks.
You can use either single or double quotation marks depending on the citation style you are following. It is essential to credit the author using any specific citation method. Be aware that the consequences of plagiarism can be serious.
Ways to Introduce a Quote
Introduce with a Sentence
A compelling introductory sentence compliments the quote. Try to use an engaging verb to capture the real style and context of the author. It is essential to introduce a quote with an introductory sentence or phrase.
Introduce a Quote with Signal Phrases
You can introduce a quote with an introductory phrase followed by a comma.
Introduce a Quote by using that
You can introduce a quote by using “that”,
Weave a Quote in your Words if it is Incomplete
You can complete the sentence of any incomplete quote in your words.
Try to use quotations as precisely as possible. Always focus more on your ideas.
What are Blocked Quotes?
Blocked quotes are lengthy quotes of more than 40 words. Sometimes it’s necessary to incorporate a large portion of the original text to proceed with your discussion or argument.
Using Blocked Quotes
If you are using quotes longer than three lines then
- It should be indented five spaces from the left side
- Don’t enclose it with quotation marks
- Add reference depending on the referencing style.
How to Shorten Long Quotes?
If you want to shorten the quote by removing unnecessary words, examples, or phrases, you can replace it with an ellipsis (…). It indicates that you have omitted words or sentences from the quote.
How to Add Information to a Quote?
You should use the square bracket if you want to add any text to the direct quote to explain its meaning.
In this example, the author is talking about his wife Sandra and himself, and we replaced the pronoun ‘we- me and Sandra’ to inform the readers about the second person referred to by the author.
Use of “sic” in Quotes
The word sic is used to indicate that your quoting is correct even though the original quote has spelling mistakes or any grammatical errors. It shows the reader that you have noticed the error, and it’s not your fault. You can include ‘sic’ in brackets right after the wrong word.
If you are using a quote containing another quote within it, then it’s called a secondary quote. You need to enclose it with single quotation marks, and the primary quote remains surrounded by double quotation marks. You can mention “as cited in” along with the author’s name of the secondary source if you were unable to access the primary source.
Integrate Direct Quotes in Your Words
If you are using any direct quote in your work, then it’s not enough to merely copy-paste it. You need to ensure that it acts as evidence of your discussion. You should fulfill the purpose of using the quote in your writing instead of copying it to increase the word count. The readers should be able to connect the quotes with your discussion or argument, and there should be a relationship between the quote and your review.
Also Read: Tips to Avoid Plagiarism in a Dissertation
What to Avoid When Using Direct Quotes?
- Avoid using quotes without introductory sentences as they may confuse the readers.
- Never use block quotations at the end of the paragraph.
- Don’t forget to link the quote with your argument or discussion.
How to Use Indirect Quotes?
Indirect quotes are rephrased quotes. There are two types of paraphrasing quotes.
In author-prominent paraphrasing, you need to mention the author’s name in the opening line of your paraphrased quote.
You can paraphrase the quote focusing on the key information, and it doesn’t require the author’s name as a part of the sentence.
Cite the Quote
APA in-text citation: Includes the second name of the author, year of publication, and page number separated by commas and enclosed by brackets and parenthesis.
William Zinsser states, “Today everybody in the world is writing to everybody else, making instant contact across every border and across every time zone” (Zinsser,2012,p.7).
M.L.A in-text citation: Includes the author’s second name and page number in bracket followed by a parenthesis.
William Zinsser states, “Today everybody in the world is writing to everybody else, making instant contact across every border and across every time zone” ( Zinsser 7).
Chicago in-text citation: Includes the second name of the author, year of publication, and page number separated by commas and enclosed by brackets and parenthesis.
William Zinsser states, “Today everybody in the world is writing to everybody else, making instant contact across every border and across every time zone” (Zinsser,2012,7)
Also Read: What is Self Plagiarism
Verbs to Introduce a Quote
You can use the following verbs while introducing a quote:
- Agree, disagree, allege, argue, assert
- Believe, claim, comment, consider
- Contend, contradict, convince, criticize
- Debate, defend, describe, differ
- Discuss, dispute, establish, evaluate
- Examine, hold, illustrate, inform
- Insist, instruct, investigate, maintain
- Persuade, propose, propound, refute
- Remark, report, suggest, uphold
How Many Quotes Can You Use?
There aren’t any magical number of quotes you are supposed to use in your writing. While putting pen on your paper, try to keep it as original as possible, it’s always best to express your ideas. In case if you are using any direct quotes, make sure to explain it properly, and that it supports your point.
Avoid using too many quotes unless it is necessary for your paper. Sometimes you may need to use information-based quotes, which add value to your writing. You can use such quotes depending on the subject and requirements of your writing. Try to avoid more extended quotes unless an absolute necessity.
Also Read – What are the Consequences of Plagiarism?
Frequently Asked Questions
A quote refers to using exact words or phrases from a source in your work, typically enclosed in quotation marks. It provides direct evidence, supports arguments, or adds credibility by referencing the original author’s words. Proper citation is crucial to attribute quotes accurately.