When writing an essay, professors will often suggest or require that their students use quotations to help argue or prove their point.


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INTEGRATING QUOTATIONS EXERCISE
When writing an essay, professors will often suggest or require that their students use quotations to help argue or prove their point. Adding quotations to an essay can enhance and add credibility to our writing, but there are certain techniques we can use to make sure that we are integrating quotations properly. In the following handout, we will discuss the proper methods for integrating quotations into your essay in order to ensure that they blend well with your own words and accurately enhance the content of your essay.
What is a quotation?
The American Heritage College Dictionary defines the act of quoting as “to repeat or copy the words of (another) . . . with acknowledgment of the source.” A “quotation” is “a passage quoted.”,
Why do we need quotations?
When you are writing an essay, you will need to include quotations to add credibility to your argument or viewpoint. In many cases, it is okay to paraphrase your source by stating the information in your own words (keep in mind that you still need to cite this information as though it is a quotation). However, there are some cases in which it is better to quote than to paraphrase. It is generally thought that there are two reasons that a quotation might be preferable:
• The original source has phrased the information perfectly.
• The quotation comes from a very credible source.
How do I include quotations in my essay?
There are many different ways to include quotations in an essay. The method you use will depend on your personal writing style and the content of the quotation itself.
1) Quoting with signal phrase is when you mention the author and the background information of the author before using the quotation. This is a good method because it lets the reader know that the quotation is from a credible source.
For example:
As stated by Phil Oliff, the leading Policy Analyst from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “States are spending $2,353 or 28 percent less per student on higher education, nationwide, in the current 2013 fiscal year than they did in 2008, when the recession hit.”
According to Samantha Washington, a Professor of Psychology at Columbia University, “Universities need to take a stand when it comes to rights in education.”
Below are some of the most common words used to present a quotation using signal phrase:
Acknowledges
Adds
Admits
Addresses
Argues
Asserts
Believes
Claims
Comments
Compares
Confirms
Contends
Declares
Denies
Disputes
Emphasizes
Endorses
Grants
Illustrates
Implies
Insists
Notes
Observes
Points out
Reasons
Refutes
Rejects
Reports
Responds
Suggests
Thinks
Writes
2) Stand-alone quotations do not necessarily need an introduction to make sense within the context of your essay. A quotation can even take the place of a complete sentence when it stands alone.
For example:
Be happy. Figure out your goals. “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough” (Emily Dickinson).
Love is incredibly powerful. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage” (Lao Tzu).
3) Directly integrated quotations can take the place of phrases or words in your sentences. This method is best when you feel as if the wording of a particular quotation is perfect for the context of your sentence.
For example:
Malcolm X said that when he picked up a book most of the words “might as well have been in Chinese” as an example of his difficulty with reading.
I find it striking that though “women novelists have probably dominated American literature since the middle of the nineteenth century,” our literary tradition is still incredibly gender specific (Schweickart 201).
Can I edit quotations?
In a direct quotation, always use the exact words from the reference and do not change any of the words. However, it is not completely taboo to change the content of a quotation, as long as you maintain the meaning or tone of the original author. If you need to change the content of a quotation, use the following proper methods.
• Brackets: If you need to change or add a word/phrase, signal to the reader that you have done so by putting the added or edited words in brackets ( [ ] ).
For example:
William Johnson stated, “Most students agree that [they] have trouble studying, but community college students have it tough. They often have to worry about taking care of their families and working full-time as well.”
In this case, “they” was not originally in the reference.
Ellipses: If you wish to leave words out of a quotation, you can do that by including an ellipsis (…). This shows the reader that you have left out words, phrases, or complete sentences.
For example:
William Johnson stated, “Most students agree that [they] have trouble studying . . . [because] they often have to worry about taking care of their families and working full-time as well.”
As demonstrated above, it is perfectly fine to incorporate brackets and ellipses together when editing a quotation.
NOTE! If you are quoting something that already has quotation marks in the original quotation, then change those quotation marks into apostrophes ( ’ ).
For example:
“People are sometimes difficult to handle,” points out Chelsea Smith. “Sometimes they play the ‘villain’ when you are trying to be the ‘hero’ of the story.”
How should I format quotations?
As previously stated, it is not enough to simply drop a quotation into your essay. There is a certain format that you should follow to ensure that your reader understands your quotation and that it does not distract from the flow of your own writing. Each quotation should be integrated using “the quotation sandwich.”
First, you have to introduce the quotation. This is your top piece of bread.
Second, use the quotation. This is the “good stuff” in the middle of your sandwich.
Third, analyze the quotation. This is your bottom piece of bread.
Introduce the Quotation
You should begin this part by introducing the title and author. The next few sentences should give some general background information on the quotation. Never assume that your audience already knows the work that you are referring to even if the audience is your professor. Instead, imagine your audience is anyone on campus who may come across your work.
Exercise:
Referring to the article/story you are working with, find a quote from the author and use the template below to practice integrating a quote. Remember to follow the “quotation sandwich model” by introducing the quotation with a central topic and following the quotation with your commentary.
Introduce the Quotation:
*Use the Quotation: According to…
Comment on the Quotation:
Introduce the Quotation:
*Use the Quotation: According to…
Comment on the Quotation:
*Please vary your introduction of the quotation, as opposed to using “According to…” repeatedly.

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