Effective Use Of Quotes In An Essay Assignment
Including quotes from reliable resources or ones taken directly from a primary text is an excellent way of strengthening an argument with evidence. Throughout the research process, you should always look towards highlighting or underlining strong textual passages that support your original and debatable thesis statement. Using quotes will give your opinions a sense of validity and will point the reader towards a specific part in a text where here or she can validate your claims. Here’s all you need to know about putting in different types of quotes in a writing assignment:
Utilizing Short Quotations
Using a short quote directly into your sentence is a great way of providing supporting information and an explanation for why it is you have chosen that specific statement or phrase. Short quotes should be no more than 3 typed lines and be framed using quotation marks. Even if you are only copying a handful of words, you need to include the marks to let the reader know you are not the original author. If you’re ever confused, just stay on the safe side and include the marks.
Utilizing Long Quotations
When utilizing a long quote that is four lines or more, you need to set it off in an indented block that is a half an inch from the left margin (1.5 inches from the left edge of the paper). You don’t need to put in quotation marks, as the block indicates that this is a quote.
You should use a lead-in statement to introduce the quote and to let the reader know who the original author is. You should also give a brief explanation or description of what the author is talking about. Great writing isn’t all about using another person’s words to make a point; great writing is introducing your original ideas as they relate to the topic or essay question.
Correctly Citing a Quotation
The most commonly used formatting style for assignments in humanities is MLA. The rules for the Modern Language Association require you to cite the author or editor’s last name followed by the page number where the quote can be found in the source text. There is no need to include a “p.” or “pp.” abbreviation to indicate the page; you simply have to put the information within parenthesis as in the following example:
(Harden 26), or (Oakes 317).
In a case where there are multiple authors or editors, enter the information as follows:
(Harden and Oakes 317) or (Harden, Oakes, and Delcore 317).
And finally, in the case where you include the author or editor’s name leading into the quotation, enter citation information as follows:
As Harden suggests, “the red balloon signifies the unpredictable violence in girl’s young life (317).”
Remember that the quotation you choose to utilize in your essay assignment should be strong evidence that supports your argument. If you are using outside resources, be sure that they are from academic or government entities. These are the most reliable and come from industry experts that others will recognize or can look up. If you are quoting directly from a primary text, make sure you enter it exactly the way it appears in the precise edition you are referring to. For additional assistance, have a professional writer or editor look over your work so that he or she can make recommendations for improvement or make corrections as necessary.