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The University of Northern Colorado Writing Center: Using Direct Quotations This presentation provides information on selecting and punctuating directly.

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Presentation on theme: "The University of Northern Colorado Writing Center: Using Direct Quotations This presentation provides information on selecting and punctuating directly."— Presentation transcript:

1 The University of Northern Colorado Writing Center: Using Direct Quotations This presentation provides information on selecting and punctuating directly quoted source material

2 Selection of Quoted Material – Use a direct quote when you want to include: special wording from the original source—terminology, vernacular phrasing, inflammatory language The wording of a well-known person statistical data – Do not use a direct quote when: you can convey the idea in a paraphrase – Limit your use of direct quotes: No more than % of your essay should be directly quoted material; use paraphrasing instead Use block quotes sparingly, if at all Be aware that rules for punctuation and usage of direct quotes will vary, depending on the documentation format used

3 Integration of Quoted Material All direct quotations, whether in sentence or block form, must have the following: A narrative lead-in that indicates the origin of the quoted source An introduction of the author of the quote* A commentary sentence after the quote * MLA; only necessary the first time the author is mentioned or if the author has not been mentioned within the last 4 or 5 pages

4 Integration of Quoted Material: Here is a sample of an integrated quotation. The documentation format is APA: Original source: Bernhardt, S. (1988). Text revisions by basic writers. Research in the Teaching of English, 22, Extensive revision is vital to producing quality writing, yet learning to revise at a meaningful level can be difficult for basic writers. As Bernhardt (1988) notes in his review of research studies analyzing writing behaviors, basic writers “tend to make low level changes in punctuation, spelling, or grammar in their texts, without making higher level changes in such features as organization or content”(p. 266). Such changes may address some of the prescriptive or stylistic issues within the writing; however, they do not address the potential for development and revision of the writer’s ideas. The highlighted sections show how the writer has introduced the author of the material, provided the quotation, and provided commentary after the quotation.

5 Criteria for Direct Quotations: the punctuation of the quotation is accurate the quotation is integrated into the grammatical context and structure of the writer’s sentences and ideas the quotation credits the original author and tells the location of the original text

6 Punctuation of Direct Quotations: Some Basic Information Use present tense verbs in the lead-in to introduce the quoted material (MLA) Use a comma to set off lead-in information The first word of a quoted sentence is always capitalized When using a direct quote of more than four typed lines (MLA) or more than forty words (APA), the quote must be set off in block format

7 Punctuation of Direct Quotations, continued End punctuation always comes after the last parenthesis, except for block quotations If the quoted sentence ends in punctuation other than a period, retain the original punctuation mark before the quote marks, and put a period after the parenthetical documentation: After the latest research, Marie Forgeard asks, “What unavoidable shortcomings of the present studies must be acknowledged?” (88). Special parenthetical information is needed when you quote, paraphrase, or summarize material already being quoted in another source: (qtd. in Brumley 43) (MLA) (cited in Brumley, 2004, p. 43) (APA)

8 Punctuation of Direct Quotations, continued If you omit material in the middle of a direct quotation, use three spaced ellipses to indicate the omission: According to psychologist Iman Adreason, “80% of creative writers had, at some point, suffered from a mood disorder... and many suffered from a bipolar subtype as well” (81). If you need to add material to clarify an idea, place the added material in brackets: As Ellen Jamison notes, “more [creative writers] displayed higher rates of mood disorders than did artist in nonverbal fields” (81). If there is a grammatical error in the quoted material, indicate this after the mistake by using the Latin adverb sic: Vaughn Ludwig asserts, “If unipolar and bipolar disorders are each associated with creativity via a different mechanism, than [sic] it seems likely that the contents of the works should differ” (82).

9 Resources The information given in this presentation provides a knowledge base for using direct quotations. For further information, always consult an up-to-date handbook, your instructor, or contact the UNC Writing Center at with questions Refer to a list of resources available on our web site: index.html


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