Long Essay Quotations

Long Essay Quotations-3
When you introduce a quotation with an incomplete sentence, you usually place a comma after the introductory phrase.

When you introduce a quotation with an incomplete sentence, you usually place a comma after the introductory phrase.However, it has become grammatically acceptable to use a colon rather than a comma: If you are not sure whether to punctuate your introduction to a quotation, mentally remove the quotation marks, and ask yourself whether any punctuation is still required.

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Visit the U of T Writing website's page on verbs for referring to sources.

If your quotation is lengthy, you should almost always introduce it with a full sentence that helps capture how it fits into your argument.

(Almost all of the examples in this handout follow the Modern Languages Association, or MLA, system of citation, which is widely used in the humanities and in those social sciences with a less quantitative approach.) Visit our handout on paraphrase and summary.

Quotations come from somewhere and your reader will want to know where.

Hence his lack of any constructive suggestion anywhere in his work. For in reality his target is not so much society as human nature.

He attacks the law, parliamentary government, the educational system and so forth, without ever clearly suggesting what he would put in their places. (416) The full-sentence introduction to a block quotation helps demonstrate your grasp of the source material, and it adds analytical depth to your essay. Long quotations almost invariably need to be followed by extended analysis. Usually, you will want to keep the quotation and your analysis together in the same paragraph.

If you remove text, then replace the missing text with an ellipsis -- three periods surrounded by spaces: If the omitted text occurs between sentences, then put a space after the period at the end of sentence and follow that by an ellipsis. (See Orwell on Dickens, above.) Many people overuse ellipses at the beginning and end of quotations. If you need to alter or replace text from the original, enclose the added text within square brackets.

Use an ellipsis in either place only when your reader might otherwise mistake an incomplete sentence for a complete one: Abraham Lincoln begins "The Gettysburg Address" with a reminder of the act upon which the United States was founded: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation . You may, for example, need to alter text to ensure that pronouns agree with their antecedents.

Don't just parachute quotations into your essay without providing at least some indication of who your source is.

Letting your reader know exactly which authorities you rely on is an advantage: it shows that you have done your research and that you are well acquainted with the literature on your topic.


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