integrating quotes / citations

A quotation (or “quote”) or citation is a selection of exact words from another text.
Quotations must always be:
  • terms/phrases/passages you want to use/respond to yourself
  • framed/introduced beforehand and/or explained afterwards
  • lexically cohesive with the surrounding framing/explaining sentences (i.e., use the same terms)
  • preceded by some form of attribution to its author (e.g., “According to X,…” or “X argues that…”))
  • offset from your own words by quotation marks () or by indenting as a block quote (see below)
  • followed by an in-text reference to the source (author-date or footnote, etc.)
When quoting, you may manipulate the grammar and wording of the quote to fit the grammar of the sentence it is in by using the following symbols and punctuation:
  • . . . = ellipsis signifies that words have been cut from the original source
  • [word] = square brackets signify that one or two words (max) changed to fit quote to grammar of sentence
  • word = single quotes signify that this word or phrase was quoted in the original text
  • underlined words are lexical ties between the quote and the writer’s sentences
Example of a block quote (not for ENG 101):
Based on his reading of the relationship between power and individual happiness in Aristotle and the American Declaration of Independence, Adler argues as follows:
If some men attain [power], that would preclude other men, subject to their power, from becoming happy. Everyone cannot be on top, and if you have to be on top in order to be happy, only some men can achieve happiness at the expense of others. Hence, if everyone has a “natural” right to the pursuit of happiness, and if that means that happiness must be attainable by all, then we know at once, do we not, that power over other men cannot be a part of human happiness, for if it were, happiness would not be attainable by all. (Adler 1984, 5-6)

Thus, for Adler, because the pursuit of happiness is a universal human right, it cannot coexist easily with centralized political power.

Example in-line quote, fully integrated.

According to Adler’s interpretation of Aristotle’s teachings, happiness can never logically consist in power over others because this would preclude . . . men, subject to [that] power from becoming happy” (Adler 1984, 5). Furthermore, drawing on the political language of the Enlightenment and the American Declaration of Independence, Adler also considers every individual’s natural right to pursue happiness more important than the rights of the few to succeed in politics (6). Thus, for Adler, centralized political power and general happiness are mutually exclusive.

  • ensure that the quote you choose is relevant to and effectively supports the point you have made
  • try to avoid a complete break between the wording and tone of the quote and your own framing/explaining sentences – use the principle of lexical cohesion to help you
  • in-line quotes are preferred for ENG 101 and 102 because the majority of your essay (around 80%) should remain your own paraphrases and analyses
  • try to quote partial sentences and key noun phrases, rather than whole tranches of text