Tips On Using Quotations In Expository Writing


[source: Mr. Ewert]

1. Use quotations to emphasize or support a point.
2. Be sure your quotations are relevant to your topic.
3. Use quotations sparingly. Remember that quotes should reinforce what you have to say and not substitute for your writing.
4. Be certain that the connection between your quotation and your controlling idea is clear. If necessary, comment on the quotation to make the connection which you intend.
5. Quote exactly and accurately, but you may leave out words, phrases, and sentences. Do not use ellipsis points ( . . . ) to begin or end quotations.
6. Sometimes to make your quoted passage more readable in the context of your paragraph, you may need to change capitalization, add words or a phrase, or change verb tense. Use square brackets [ ] around whatever you add or change.
7. Employ these 3 principal methods of quotations for in class expository paragraphs and essays:
a. Integrating or incorportating a short quotation (a word, phrase, or short sentence) into one of your own sentences.
Example: Burch's ability to appreciate the forest became more developed as he "learned to see the forest playing, feeding, [and] breathing."
b. Introducing a complete quotation with a phrase followed by a comma.
Example: As Burch's ability to appreciate the forest became more developed, he said, "I learned to see the forest playing, feeding, [and] breathing."
c. Introducing a complete quotation with an independent clause followed by a colon. Note that the quote should be a sentence and should relate to the introductory clause.
Example: Burch's ability to appreciate the forest became more developed: "I [Burch] learned to see the forest playing and feeding, [and] breathing."
8. A quotation within a quotation is punctuated with single quotation marks.
9. All the lines of a long quotation (more than three lines) should be indented ten spaces from the left margin. No quotation marks are needed!
10. For literary essays, you must indicate the source for any material you quote. You may be asked to provide the author's surname and the page reference in parentheses at the end of your quotation. Consult the MLA or APA Handbook or Landmarks Citation Machine. For most in class essays and for the government examination, parenthetical citations are not required.