Last modified on 19 October 2012, at 16:04

Saylor.org's English Composition/Quoting

Quotation Marks

Quoting is a valuable tool when writing academic papers that allows an author to inject the voice or opinion or another into the writing to give another perspective. There are some important rules to keep in mind when you quote another. The most important thin, of course, is to cite the source of the quote (this will be covered in greater detail in this Wikibook's section on citation). In addition to citation, don't just "quote drop" without giving proper context to the quote. This context often involves introducing the person who said it and following up the quote with your interpretation of the quote (For example: "What X seems to be saying..." "X's statement on this shows..."). Take for instance President John F. Kennedy's famous quote: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." A fully contextualized use of this quote might look like this:

In his inaugural address, President John F. Kennedy compelled Americans to "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Kennedy's statement asserted his belief in national service, epitomized by his creation of the Peace Corps.

Once again, this makes for better writing than simply throwing in the quote and not attempting to tie it back to your argument at hand.

Keep in mind when you quote that there are more ways to present a quote than just "X said _____". Remember, people "question", "think", "believe", "argue", "contend", "declare", and any number of other things besides just "saying" something.