How to Quote Sources? - Research Prospect

How to Quote Sources?

Published by at August 14th, 2021 , Revised On September 21, 2021

Introduction

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 Indirect quotations, on the other hand, include all unpublished material of the other authors such as videos and audios, interviews, talk shows.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.

Example:
“Many people with secondary greatness — that is, social recognition for their talents – lack primary greatness or goodness in their character” (Covey, 1989, p.9).

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.

Original quote:
“Today everybody in the world is writing to everybody else, making instant contact across every border and across every time zone. Bloggers are saturating the globe” (Zinsser,2012,p.7)

Example:
William Zinsser’s guidelines for the writers remained unique from 1976 until today: “Today everybody in the world is writing to everybody else, making instant contact across every border and across every time zone. Bloggers are saturating the globe” (Zinsser,2012,p.7)

Introduce a Quote with Signal Phrases

You can introduce a quote with an introductory phrase followed by a comma.

Original quote:
“Bloggers are saturating the globe” (Zinsser,2012,p.7)

Example:
According to William Zinsser, “Bloggers are saturating the globe” (Zinsser,2012,p.7)

Introduce a Quote by using that

You can introduce a quote by using “that”,

Original quote:
“The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word” (Zinsser, 2012, p.12)

Example:
For successful writing, William Zinsser states that “the secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word” (Zinsser, 2012, p.12)

Weave a Quote in your Words if it is Incomplete

You can complete the sentence of any incomplete quote in your words.

Original quote:
“Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word” (Zinsser, 2012, p.12)

Example:
According to William Zinsser, “Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word” is clutter, and it should be avoided in writing. (Zinsser, 2012, p.12)

Try to use quotations as precisely as possible. Always focus more on your ideas.

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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.

Original quote
All this advice forms the famous “Eat Less, Move More” strategy so beloved by obesity “experts.” But here’s a peculiar thought: If we already understand what causes obesity, how to treat it, and we’ve spent millions of dollars on education and obesity programs, why are we getting it? (p.130)

Example
All this advice forms the famous “Eat Less, Move More” strategy so beloved by obesity “experts.” But here’s a peculiar thought: If we already understand what causes obesity, how to treat it, and we’ve spent millions of dollars on education and obesity programs, why are we getting it? (p.130)

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.

Original quote
“While practices are situationally specific, principles are deep, fundamental truths that have universal application. They apply to individuals, to marriages, to families, to private and public organizations of every kind. When these truths are internalized into habits, they empower people to create a wide variety of practices to deal with different situations” (Covey,1989, p.18)

Example
“While practices are situationally specific, principles are deep, fundamental truths that have universal application. They apply to individuals…. they empower people to create a wide variety of practices to deal with different situations” (Covey,1989, p.18)

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.

Original Quote
“So we determined to focus our efforts on us — not on our techniques, but on our deepest motives and our perception of him. Instead of trying to change him, we tried to stand apart — to separate us from him –and to sense his identity, individuality, separateness, and worth.” (Covey,1989,p.9)

Example
“So we [me and Sandra] determined to focus our efforts on us — not on our techniques, but on our deepest motives and our perception of him. Instead of trying to change him, we tried to stand apart — to separate us from him –and to sense his identity, individuality, separateness, and worth.” (Covey,1989,p.9)

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.

Original quote
“While practices are situationally specific, principles are deep, fundamental truths that have the universal application” (Covey,1989, p.18)

Example
“While practices are situationally [sic] specific, principles are deep, fundamental truths that have the universal application” (Covey,1989, p.18)

Secondary Quote

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.

Example
‘Although “physical activity is thought of as an energy deficit activity”, our estimates do not support this hypothesis.’ ( as cited in Fung, 2016,p.55)

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.

Example

To provide an example illustrating the importance of concise writing William Zinsser writes:

The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb that carries the same meaning that’s already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what—these are the thousand and one adulterants that weaken the strength of a sentence.

Based on this statement, writers can enhance their writing by omitting all the unnecessary words and phrases which do not add any value to the writing. Upon thorough editing, one can deliver a concise and clear message without any new vocabulary and unclear passive voice.

How to Use Indirect Quotes?

Indirect quotes are rephrased quotes. There are two types of paraphrasing quotes.

Author-prominent Paraphrasing

In author-prominent paraphrasing, you need to mention the author’s name in the opening line of your paraphrased quote.

Original quote
“The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components” (Zinsser, 2012, p.12)

Example:
William Zinsser states that good writing should be edited until it’s free of unwanted words and phrases, which doesn’t make any sense.
(Zinsser, 2012, p.12)

Information-Prominent Paraphrasing

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.

Original Quote
“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)

Example
Everyone is making instant contacts globally through exchanging texts all the time. (Zinsser,2012,p.7)

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?

About Jamie Walker

Jamie is an enthusiastic Computer Science specialist with a master’s degree from Stanford. His research work revolves around the internet of things and AI. He is a celebrated member of Dissertation Services at Research Prospect.