Quoting from a text

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Tutor: Jonathan

Summary

Quoting from a text

​​In a nutshell

Quoting from a text is the process of directly taking a word, phrase or sentence(s) from a text and using it in your own writing. This technique is useful for when you are trying to prove a point or support an idea with evidence. This summary will outline the process of quoting from a text correctly.



Finding a quote

The first thing you need to do is find a quotation. In order to maintain focus on what's important, you should look for lines or keywords that are relevant to the idea you want to put across in your writing. There may be multiple options, so it is up to you to select the quotation that matches your idea in the clearest way. 


Example

Look at the quotations below from a text about Christmas. Which of these would best support the claim that Christmas is the happiest time of the year?


1) 'During Christmas, families get together and enjoy their time with each other'.

2) 'Christmas is in December.'

3) 'Young children all around the world believe that Santa Claus gives them presents.'


The best quote would be number 1. This is because the quotation tells us that families celebrate Christmas together by spending time as a family. Some families only get together during times like Christmas. 



Inserting a quotation into your writing

After finding a quote, the next step is to insert it into your writing. In order to do this correctly, you have to use quotation marks ("..."). This shows 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 quotation. The best way to add quotations into your writing is to embed them, which means making the quotation fit into your sentence naturally, rather than just stating your idea and then writing the quotation as a reference. 


Example

Below are two sentences that use quotations. The first one uses a quotation after making a point, and the second one uses an embedded quotation to make a point fit in the sentence naturally. 


1) The author describes Mary as an unpleasant woman. We see this in the line: "rude, loud and arrogant".

2) The author describes Mary as "rude, loud and arrogant", which gives us the impression that she is an unpleasant woman. 


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Exercises

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to embed a quotation into your writing?

What is the process of using a quotation in a text?

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