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Essay writing

How to quote from a text

How to quote from a text

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Tutor: Sam


How to quote from a text

​​In a nutshell

Quoting from a text is simply the process of directly taking a word, phrase or even a sentence or two from a text and putting it into your own piece of writing. This technique is useful for proving a point or supporting an idea with evidence, therefore knowing how to quote correctly from a text is critical if you want to make your writing convincing to a reader. This summary will outline the process of quoting from a text. 

Finding a quote

The first stage of quoting from a text is finding a quote. This can be difficult when faced with a long piece of writing, so it is important to look only for lines or words that are relevant to the idea you would like to put across in your own writing. This may mean looking out for a part of the text that implies your idea, spelling it out in other words. There may be multiple options, so it is up to you to select the quote that communicates your idea in the clearest way. 


Look at the quotations below from a text about dogs. Which of these would best support the claim that dogs are kind animals?

  1. 'Dogs will happily dig for hours and tear up your garden'.
  2. 'Dogs have been known to approach smaller people and animals more gently to avoid scaring them.'
  3. 'Different dogs have different kinds of fur.'


The best quote would be number 2. This is because the sentence tells us that dogs are gentle towards animals or people who they might possibly be scared of them, and this implies to us that dogs are kind and caring.

Putting a quote into your writing

The next step after finding a quote is to actually put it into your writing. This means using quotation marks, which show the reader exactly which words are your own and which you have taken from another text. Quotation marks should be placed on either side of the quote you have put in your writing. A great way of putting quotes into your writing is to embed them, which means making the quote fit into your sentence naturally, rather than saying your idea and then pointing to a quote for reference. 


Below are two sentences that use quotations. One of them uses a quotation after making a point, and the other uses an embedded quote as it makes a point. 

  1. The author describes the wolf as a very scary creature. We see this when the author describes the wolf as "large and wild, with big white teeth".
  2. The author describes the wolf as "large and wild, with big white teeth", which gives us the impression that it is a very scary creature. 


The second sentence does not require an extra sentence to fit in the quote, and instead weaves it into one single point. This is how to embed a quote into your writing. 

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

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