You should also use a comma when you introduce a quotation with a phrase such as “According to Thoreau.” Use punctuation marks in combination with ellipses when removing material from the end of sentences or clauses. Set up a block quotation with your own words followed by a colon. The colon announces that a quote will follow to provide evidence for the sentence’s claim. Used effectively, quotations can provide important pieces of evidence and lend fresh voices and perspectives to your narrative.

introducing a quote in an essay

They are used to indicate the information taken from a source with no alterations. This article explains the methods of introducing your quote in an essay. It doesn’t deal with the way you need to cite them, which requires the author’s name, the year of publication, the page number, etc. Note that the first letter after the quotation marks should be upper case. According to MLA guidelines, if you change the case of a letter from the original, you must indicate this with brackets. Sure, it’s a heck of a lot quicker to pull any random quote and put it in your paper, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve chosen wisely.

Introducing Short Quotations

Because the quote is set off in a block, you don’t need to put quotation marks around it. And in the case of both general and field-specific common knowledge, if you use the exact words of the reference source, you must use quotation marks and credit the source.

There may be times when you need to quote long passages. However, you should use block quotations only when you fear that omitting any words will destroy the integrity of the passage.

Successful vs unsuccessful paraphrases

Even in research writing, quotations should be used to support your ideas! Let’s review some guidelines for using quotations in your writing.

Instead, go for someone more relevant like Barack Obama. Reinforcement – Quotes reinforce your argument because they offer a second voice in support of your claim. Miranda Terry has taught middle school science and social studies for two years.

Keep periods and commas within quotation marks

Quotes should support your arguments, so you need to find information from sources that actually do that. Whatever direction your speech or essay takes, there’s a host of quotations to choose from.

The next section will tackle how you can properly quote a quote. Before you begin incorporating a quote in your essay, I ought to teach you writing an in-text citation first. Smith suggests that “if the introduction to your quote isn’t a dependent clause, it doesn’t need to be followed by a comma” . Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.

Notice the Punctuation!

This scenario is probably most common in literature and linguistics courses, but you might also find yourself writing about the use of language in history and social science classes. If the use of language is your primary topic, then you will obviously need to quote users of that language. Sometimes, you would have to be concise introducing a quote in an essay with your quotes. Therefore, it is best to follow quote editing guidelines such as adding brackets or ellipses. Do not forget to include the parenthetical citation of your quote. It would be counted as plagiarism if you don’t reference it. As Smith explains, “you can introduce your quotes with a number of different phrases” .

introducing a quote in an essay

You normally indent 4-5 spaces for the start of a paragraph. When setting up a block quotation, indent the entire paragraph once from the left-hand margin. It is also crucial to contribute your own thoughts, not just the author’s. Don DeLillo characterizes the American National Identity as consumerism.


He said he was more concerned about doing what God wanted him to do. Remember to choose a verb that makes sense with what the quotation says. For example, you would not use the verb describes if the speaker of the quotation is arguing a strong point. In that case, the verb argues or maintains would be a better choice.

E.g., The problem Africa is facing is quote-unquote corruption. You should note that the author’s name can be written before or after the quote.

Common mistakes to avoid

Writing an essay when you have tons of additional assignments to complete can be tough. That’s the case especially when you’re short on time but have a tight deadline to beat. You can simply reach out to us and we’ll help you get your essay assignment completed in good time. But purpose-written opening sentences tend to have a broader latitude than quotes, and therefore more powerful than the latter. Besides, your readers will want to know where you got the quote from, and you must make it easy for them to find it. Even if a quote is interesting enough to fit the central theme of the essay prompt, you should avoid it in favor of a short, clear quote. If your teacher asks you where you got the quote from and you tell them you made it up, they’ll more than likely not read the essay past the introduction.

introducing a quote in an essay

The quotation should not be modified to the extent that it differs grammatically from the original phrasing or becomes unrecognizable. The reference list is made up of all the sources that have been included in the body of the essay.

Writing Resources

Discuss how the source information supports the main point of your paragraph. Use (meaning “so” or “thus”) to indicate that a mistake is in the source you’re quoting and is not your own. Often both the signal and the assertion appear in a single introductory statement, as in the example below. Notice how a division and classification definition transitional phrase also serves to connect the quotation smoothly to the introductory statement. Even if you use your own words, if you obtained the information or ideas you are presenting from a source, you must document the source. Secondly, it is used to show that a small phrase or a word is in quotes.

An appropriate quote is a very effective means of opening a speech or strengthening your argument in an essay. A clause that ends in a speaking verb such as said, wrote, stated, asked, told, etc, is not an independent clause and should not be followed by a colon. Remember that using proper quotation format not only adds polish and smoothness to your paper, it also guards against potential plagiarism. When in doubt as to whether or not to quote, it is always safer to use a quotation. Incorporate phrases and pieces of quotations into your own sentence.