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How to quote the suggested source in an essay?

18 Jul 2017

No matter what type of essay you are going to write: analytical, descriptive, evaluative or personal, you will deal with the already accumulated experience on the topic. The reference to the ideas, thoughts or sayings of someone more mature in the subject of your writing strengthens your position and makes your reader believe in the seriousness of your preparation.
It is easy to forget that essay is a structured writing, so the quotes in it are certainly structured too.

Below you may find some peculiarities of how to use quotation that will help you to add the references correctly.

What types of quotes are used in essays?

There are several types of quotes like long and short prose references, long and short poetry selections, parenthetical citations, quotations within quotations, partial citation, references with comments. The formatting for all these types is different but logical and easy to remember. 

As a general rule, one should remember that punctuation of the citing is similar to that of the Direct language. Usually, to highlight a fragment one should put it in quotation marks with the indication of the authorship and source in brackets.

It is not allowed to highlight the reference to color, fonts or somehow else. An author himself can also underline something in his ideas and then this highlighting should be kept when citing this author. If there is a need, you may also underline some part of the fragment you are referencing. An indication that the highlight was made by you and not the author should be put in brackets after the highlight.

How to quote?

To add references everywhere in your essay without a particular order is not a sound idea. Quoting should also lead the reader smoothly through your telling. To fulfill this task, it is efficient to insert an assertion that links a reference that you are going to make, with the statement of your text and to introduce the author. For example: A person is that old how he or she feels it in the soul. As one government researcher put it: “Aging is a matter of mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Let’s have a look on the peculiarities of the formatting of different quotes.

Short prose quotation

If you need to cite one, two short prose sentences of a saying or thought, insert it the entire quote in the text and add the double quotation marks to begin and end the sentence. Note that only the author last name is used.
Example: According to Covey, “Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence” (39).

Long prose quotation

Usually, a cited fragment is deemed to be long when it contains 40 words plus.

Unlike with short quotations, a block citing is used in this case. It is when you write a quote in a new line without quotation marks. Use brackets to provide the page number of a source. Some rules maintain double-spacing to isolate the block part.
Example: In her study of the roles of nurses in a critical care unit, Chase (1995) also found a hierarchy that distinguished the roles of experts and others: 

Critical care nurses function in a hierarchy of roles. In this open-heart surgery unit, the nurse manager hires and fires the nursing personnel. The nurse manager does not directly care for patients but follows the progress of unusual or long-term patients. (156)

Short poetry quotation

If you need to cite a part of the poem (not more than three lines poetry), there is no reason to separate it from your text. Just insert it organically and slash with space.
Example: In Julius Caesar, Antony begins his famous speech with "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears; / I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him" (III.ii.75-76).

Long poetry fragments

Citing poetry longer than four lines, the rules of block quotes mentioned above is valid. No inverted commas are used for more than four lines.

Citing part of the phrase

To quote only part of the sentence you need is called parenthetical citation. Use a quotation marks to separate this part.
Example: Frankl (1946) puts a fundamental principle of human nature as “freedom to choose” (p.30).

Quotation within quotation

If a reference includes another citing or its part (so-called double quotation), the enclosed citing is marked with single quotation marks.
Example: According to Hertzberg (2002), Dahl gives the U. S. Constitution "bad marks in 'democratic fairness' and 'encouraging consensus'" (p. 90).

Quotation with comments

When you need to add your own comment to the cited fragment, the square brackets are used to separate your thoughts from the cited sentence.
Example: “Rembrandt’s portrait of her [Henrickje, his mistress] was both accurate and emotion-filled” (Wallace 49).

Using sic shows that there is a mistaken thesis in the selection, but the mistake is authors.
Additional guidelines on punctuation marks, formatting or spacing could be found in the rules of a documentation system that you use (e.g. MLA style, APA style). 

And last but not least, a quote is not amended, interpreted or added with assumptions. Change the meaning, and it is not a quote anymore but a paraphrasing. Our professional assignment writers know this by heart and are ready to assist you in your learning.

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