Introducing direct quotations Background Notes
What is a direct quotation? • A direct quotation is a quotation in which you copy an author's words directly from the text and use that exact wording in your assignment, essay, etc. You put it in quotation marks to indicate that the thought belongs to someone else. • A direct quotation DOES NOT have to be dialogue.
Rules for Direct Quotations • 1. Use a signal phrase to introduce each quotation. • Don’t drop a quote bomb! • Examples of signal phrases: • Name of Author in his/her article “Title” suggests, “…” (1). • As Name of Author in his/her article “Title” has noted “…” (1). • “…,” claims Name of Author in his/her article “Title” (1).
Rules for Direct Quotations • 2. Use a variety of signal phrases. • Don’t use the same signal phrase over and over, as it is boring and repetitive…yawn. • Other verbs you can use to vary your signal phrases: comments, analyzes, contends, admits, describes, asks, defends, agrees, explains, assesses, illustrates, concludes, holds, notes, finds, insists, grants, observes, maintains, points out, proposes, records, reveals, relates, shows, reports, speculates, says, suggests, sees, supposes, thinks, writes, etc.
Rules for Direct Quotations • 3. Make sure your sentences with quotations are grammatically correct. • Almost all signal phrases will be followed by a comma or preceded by a comma, depending on the placement of the direct quotation. • Read your sentence aloud to avoid run-ons, fragments, or unnecessarily long, rambling sentences.
Rules for Direct Quotations • 4. If you want to use a direct quotation in which someone has been quoted by the author, use double quotation marks on the outside and single quotation marks on the inside. • For example: In her article “Justin Bieber is Living the Dream,” author Jan Hoffman includes the teen star’s mom’s ironic opinion that, “’The mothers are the worst’”(1).
Rules for Direct Quotations • If you want to shorten what the author has said without changing the author’s intended meaning, use an ellipsis inside brackets. • A period will follow the bracketed ellipsis if it falls at the end of a sentence. • For example: Hoffman reveals of Bieber’s current lifestyle, “He is tutored privately and takes vocal lessons […]” (2).