How to Quote Sources: A Guide on Using Quotes in Any Paper


How to Quote Sources: A Guide on Using Quotes in Any Paper

How to quote anything? Do you need to put a colon, a bracket, or a mark in your quote? What is the best way to refer to a source in your document? Here in this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about quotes, including the percent of needed quotes in your text, as well as more details on which style you can use for quotes. 

What Is a Quote?

A quote is a way of backing up your main point or position in an academic text. An exact quote should be in quotation marks (" "), or if the quotation is 40 words or more, it should be formatted as a block quotation. Then you put an In-Text Citation right after the quotation to show where the quote came from. 

How to Introduce a Quote? 

There are a few ways to do that. Use these tips to introduce a quote correctly: 

  • Use an introductory sentence. You can put a whole quote in any sentence and introduce it first in the previous sentence or the same one just by telling the reader a little bit of a context. 
  • Craft an introductory signal phrase. This one is much shorter than the previous way to introduce your quote. The signal phrase can include the name of the used resource and the author of the quote, and the quote can be used right after the mentioned info. The signal phrase can include such words as argues, states, claims. You don’t have to use only says. 
  • Put the quote in your sentence. If you feel like it is best to integrate the quote into the sentence you have already written, you should do it without hesitation!

How to Make a Quote Shorter?

If you feel like not every part of the quote fits your paper, you should not hesitate to remove anything and shorten your quote. But keep in mind that when you omit some words from the quote, it is better to make sure that it won’t change the context. Here is a quick example of how you can shorten a quotation successfully: 

“Driving is not as automatic as one might think; in fact, it imposes a heavy procedural workload on cognition that, especially in difficult driving conditions, leaves little processing capacity available for other tasks” (Salvucci and Taatgen 107).

“Driving is not as automatic as one might think; in fact, it imposes a heavy procedural workload on cognition that . . . leaves little processing capacity available for other tasks” (Salvucci and Taatgen 107).

What to Do If You Need to Add Info?

If it seems like the chosen quotation is not complete for your case, you can add some new information to it. Such a move can be made to clarify the meaning of the quote, to integrate the in-text quotation, or to fix a mistake in the original quote. You can use the square brackets to add some info to the chosen quote. Here is a quick example of information added to the original text:

"The President called and asked [his National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice] to return to Washington immediately."

Don’t Forget about Citing Your Quote

Every time you include a quote, you should cite it. Even if you paraphrase it, it is still a good idea to give credit to the author of the original text. This way, you will also avoid any trouble with plagiarism.

To create a citation for your quote, you should first choose a format (or a style). There are many of them. The most commonly used formats are Chicago, MLA, APA. All of them are used for all kinds of in-text citations, essays, and even bibliographies. If you are writing an assignment for your college, you should get a list of instructions that would tell you which format you should use for the essay. There are small differences between all styles, but all are very easy to understand.

Block quotes

This is a different kind of quote that is used for bigger phrases, and you know that there is no way you can paraphrase the text or shorten it. If the used quote is longer than an average sentence, or 40 words (for APA), longer than 100 words (for Chicago), and longer than 3-4 lines (depends on what kind of text you are working with), you should make in a block quote.

To insert such a quote in your text, you should simply set a new line for your quote and put it there. There is no need for quotation marks: all you need to do is just to start your quote from the fresh line. 

It is better to avoid using too many block quotes. They might make your text less readable.

Quoting a Quote

To cite a quote that includes another quote, you should simply use different kinds of quotation marks. The right way to mark your text depends on the English you are using. If it’s American English, the quote that’s inside the other quote should have single quotation marks, while in British English, the first quote should go in double quotation marks.

The Max Amount of Quotes You Can Use 

It always depends on the kind of paper you are writing or the research you are conducting. If the main goal of your paper is to deliver your opinion on something, discuss a topic, or express some new ideas, it is better to avoid putting too many quotes in the document.

5-10 percent would work fine for your paper. It can be more if you are instructed to provide more in-text quotes. Keep in mind that the main point of quoting is to provide your reader with some evidence that would back up your argument or to show a little more details about the topic and opinions of others on the topic.

People also ask 

  • How do you properly quote?

This guide on how to quote contains everything you need to know. First of all, decide on a citation style. The most common formats include MLA, Chicago, and APA. Write a quote according to the rules, and then use colon or bracket marks to distinguish the quote from the rest of the text.

  • How do you cite a quote from a person?

Just in the same way you do that whenever you quote any other words or datum.

  • How do you start a quote?

Just start by mentioning the exact words from the original text. You can also refer to the source by saying, “The author said/stated/claimed.”

  • How do I quote in an essay?

Just follow the guidelines that we have provided you with. Remember that the amount of quotes often depends on the position you have and the topic for your paper. 

Quotes Are Easier Than You Think 

This guide has shared everything you need to know about how to quote. If you need to prove your argument and show your competence, you should not hesitate to use quotes for that goal. Just remember that you should learn more about the citation of quotes and proper usage of any datum if you are working on an academic paper. You don’t want the readers to question your competence. Remember that every colon and bracket should be put in the right place. Also, keep in mind that there is no shame in using special services whenever it comes to writing quotes. It will buy you some time and help you learn more about the proper use of quotations.