2 Introduce literary quotations Don’t drop quotes. A quote should never be a sentence standing alone.Use signal phrases to introduce the quote. The signal phrase can come at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of quoted material.
3 Possible signal phrases The narrator reveals, “ … ”“…, ” states Emily, “…”“…,” Jig replies.Other present tense verbs like argues, points out, asserts, defends also may be used.
4 Introducing literary quotations Don’t confuse the author of a literary work with the narrator of a story or a character in the story.Instead of naming the author, you must attribute information to a character or to the narrator.For example, The narrator in “A Rose for Emily” describes Emily as “a tradition, a duty, and a care” (245).
5 Introducing literary quotations For example, Faulkner doesn’t comment that Homer Barron liked men. Instead, the narrator reveals that Barron liked men (249).
6 Provide contextWhen quoting the exact words of a character, name the character who is speaking and provide a context for the spoken words.For example, Emily tells the Board of Aldermen, “See Colonel Sartoris” (246).In this example, Emily tells the Board of Aldermen is providing context. Is that enough?
7 Providing context For example: When the new generation of aldermen come to see Emily about paying taxes, Emily tells them, “See Colonel Sartoris” (246).
8 Using present tenseUse the present tense when writing about literatures. The characters are still alive to us today.For example: Louise Mallard thinks about life without her husband.NOT: Louise Mallard thought about life without her husband.
9 Avoiding shifts in tense Because literature is sometimes written in the past tense, the writer has to use care when integrating literary quotations into an essay to avoid shifts in tense.TENSE SHIFT:When Krebs’ mother pushes him about God’s Kingdom, “Krebs felt embarrassed and resentful as always.”.
10 Avoiding shifts in tense REVISEDWhen Krebs’ mother pushes him about God’s Kingdom, Krebs feels “embarrassed and resentful as always” (173).When Krebs’ mother pushes him about God’s Kingdom, “Krebs [feels] embarrassed and resentful as always” (173).
11 Using quotations from short stories If the quotation takes up fewer than four typed lines in your essay, put it in quotation marks and include it in the text of your essay. Include the author’s last name and a page number in parenthesis after the quotation.Jig seems to be giving her opinion of the “simple operation” when she tells the man, “And once they take it away, you never get it back” (254).
12 Using quotations from short stories When the quotation is five typed lines or longer, it must be set off from the text of the essay. Do three things.Indent the passage one inch.Do not use quotation marks.Put the page number in parenthesis after the final mark of punctuation.
13 Using quotations from short stories The description of the two sides of the valley seems symbolic. The narrator reveals:The girl stood up and walked to the end of the station. Across, on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro. Far away, beyond the river, were mountains. The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grain and she saw the river through the trees. (253)
14 Using quotations in short stories Lengthy quotations should not be used in place of your own writing.Use quotations only when they are absolutely necessary.
15 Using quotations in short stories DO NOT end paragraphs with quotation marks. Comment on your quotations and explain to the reader of your essay why that quotation was significant.DO NOT overuse quotations. Use plenty of specific examples, but use some paraphrases where you put information into your own words.
16 Adding words to a quotation If words are added to a quotation, use brackets to distinguish you addition from the original source. (See the Krebs quote above).You may need to add brackets to indicate a person if there is an unclear pronoun, an unclear verb or something else that is awkward for the reader. Otherwise, all other words inside quotation marks must be EXACTLY those of the author.
17 Leaving words out of quotations Use ellipses to indicate an omission of words.
18 Punctuating quotations Place commas and periods inside quotation marks unless the parenthetical reference to a source follows the quotation.
19 Including a quote with dialogue When you are borrowing a portion of text that includes a line of dialogue, you need to change the quotation marks around the original dialogue to single quote marks.
20 Including a quote with dialogue EXAMPLE:Louise Mallard’s sister Josephine talks to her from behind the symbolic closed door. The story explains, “Josephine was kneeling before the closed door with her lips to the keyhole imploring for admission. ‘Louise, open the door!’ ” (16).