How To Cite Quotes? Top Full Guide 2021

How To Cite Quotes

Citing sources used in research papers is important for several reasons. First, it shows your reader that you have done thorough research. Second, it allows you to list the sources from which you obtained your information. Sources citing purpose allow you to show your scholarship by giving credit and acknowledging the work of other scholars. How to cite quotes when you need to? Continue reading to gain valuable knowledge.

What is a Quote?

A quote is an exact copy of words spoken by another person. It is usually enclosed in quotation marks and credit to the speaker or author.

How to Cite Quotes in APA, MLA, and Chicago?

Cite Quotes in APA, MLA, and Chicago

You must correctly cite the source every time you quote. This will look slightly different depending on the citation style. Chicago, MLA, and APA citations are the most popular styles.

Citing a quote in APA Style (7th edition)

Citations in APA style (short for American Psychological Association) are very similar to the MLA citation system. This style is mainly used in psychology and science courses.

Citing a direct quote in APA requires that you include the author’s name, year, and page number separated by commas. Use “p” if the quote is on a single page; “pp” if it covers a page range.

After the quoted material, place parentheses after it with the correct citation. An APA in-text citation can either be narrative or parenthetical. A parenthetical citation places all information in parentheses following the quote. A narrative citation will have the author’s name in the sentence, followed by the year. The page number is then placed after the quote.

Punctuation marks, such as periods or commas, are placed after the citation and not within the quotation marks.

Examples: APA in-text citation

Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin, 1859, p. 510).

Darwin (1859) explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (p. 510).

The reference page entry for the corresponding entry looks different from an entry on a Works Cited page. This is the APA matching full citation. For example:

Lee, H. (1960). To kill a mockingbird. Philadelphia: Harper Collins.

*Titles of sources should be set in sentence case to ensure APA-style citations. Before you submit your paper, make sure to check for any rules applicable to the source.

Create a reference list

Here you should list all the sources that you have cited in your paper. Your references should be listed alphabetical order. List your references alphabetical order, and all lines after the first line of each entry should be indented one-half-inch from the left margin.

Cite a web page

Cite a web page as any other document using the author-date style if possible. If the author name and date are not available, you can use a shortened version of the website title in your parentheses along with n.d, which stands for “no dates.” You can indicate which paragraph you are quoting from if a page doesn’t have page numbers by using ‘para.,’ which stands for paragraph, followed by the number of the paragraph.

Citing a quote in MLA Style

The MLA style, abbreviated for “Modern Language Association,” can be found in English, literature, social science, and writing courses.

An MLA in-text citation does not include the author’s name or page number. It can be either incidental, narrative, or both. A period (or any other punctuation mark) appears after the citation.

These in-text citations correspond with a full citation at the end. This references list of full citations is also known as a “Works Cited” in MLA style.

Examples: MLA in-text citation

Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin 510).

Darwin explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (510).

SHORT QUOTATIONS

Double quotation marks are used to indicate short quotations (4 lines or less of prose, or three lines of verse) within your text. In the in-text citation, give the page number and author (in case of verse, line numbers) and include a reference on the Works Cited page. After the parenthetical reference, punctuation marks like periods, commas, and semicolons must be included.

LONG QUOTATIONS

If the quotation is more than four lines long or contains three lines of verse, you can place it in a separate block of text. The quotation should be placed on a new line with the entire quote indented 1/2 inches at the left margin and double-spacing. Your parenthetical quotation should be after the closing punctuation mark. Keep the original line breaks when quoting the verse. Double-spacing is a good idea throughout an essay.

Citing a quote in Chicago Style

Chicago Style citation can be used in two ways: author-date and notes and bibliography.

The author-date system is similar to APA. You include the author, year, and page number in parentheses.

Examples: Chicago author-date citation

Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin 1859, 510).

Darwin (1859) explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (510).

Footnotes are used to cite sources in the notes and bibliography system. A superscript number indicates a note placed immediately after the quote. It specifies author, title, and page number, or sometimes more information.

You must list Firstname Lastname and “Title” on the web page. If possible, Publishing Organization or Name of Website in Italics. Access date and publication date. If the web page doesn’t have an author, list “Title of Website Page”, Publishing Organization or Name of Website (if applicable), publication date and/or accessibility date, URL.

Contrary to parenthetical citations, the period or any other punctuation mark should be placed within the quotation marks. The footnote number should follow.

Example:

Chicago footnote citation

Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps.”1

1. Darwin, The Origin of the Species, 510.

All styles require that you list all sources cited at the bottom of your paper. This list format requirement will vary depending on the citation style.

You will notice that the parenthetical citation or “in-text citation” comes before is the end punctuation mark. These in-text citations correspond with a full citation at the end. This page is also known as a “Works Cited” in MLA style.

Summary When Cite a Quote in CMS

  • Book with only one author:

Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

  • Book with Multiple Authors: 

Lastname, Firstname and Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

  • Book without a known author: 

Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication.

  • Web page author: 

Lastname, Firstname. “Title of Web Page.” Publishing Organization or Name of Website in Italics. Publication date and/or access date if available. URL.

  • Web page without author: 

“Title of Web Page.” Publishing Organization or Name of Website in Italics. Publication date and/or access date if available. URL.

  • Published Interview:

Lastname, Firstname of interviewee, place where the interview was held, by Interviewer’s Firstname Lastname, date.

Blockquotes

You must create a block quote if you are quoting more than a few lines of a source. Instead of using quotation marks, place the quote on a line and indent it to form a separate block.

  • APA -Quotes that exceed 40 words
  • MLA -Quotes of prose that more than four lines
  • Poetry/verse quotes that exceed three lines
  • Chicago: Chicago Quotes that exceed 100 words

Block quoting is common in literary analysis. This is where you will need to analyze the original text and quote extensively.

Blockquotes can be cited in the same way as regular quotations, except that the quote must end with a period. The citation appears after the period.

Example: MLA blockquote

Tolkien favors long sentences and detailed descriptions:

To the end of his days, Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more. (16)The reference page entry for the corresponding entry looks different from an entry on a Works Cited page. This is the APA matching full citation.

Introducing quotes

It would help if you did not use quotations in a series of sentences. You must use your own words to introduce each quote. This explains to the reader why the quote is being included and its relationship to your argument.

Three main strategies can be used to insert quotes in a grammatically correct manner. The following examples are APA Style citations. However, these strategies can also be used in other styles.

Introduction sentence

Begin the sentence by adding a colon to the end.

To describe the quote’s contents, you can use present-tense verbs to name the author, such as states.

  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).

Introduction signal phrase

A signal phrase is a phrase that refers to the source or author but does not form a complete sentence. You can use a comma to follow the phrase in this instance instead of a colon.

According to a recent poll, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).

As Levring (2018) explains, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).

Integrated into your own sentence

You can use a phrase to quote that does not form a complete sentence. However, it is possible to incorporate it into your sentence.

  • A recent poll suggests that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (p. 3).

Shortening a quote

You can reduce the length of a quote by removing redundant words, phrases or sentences, and replacing them with three dots (an ellipsis). Style guides generally stipulate that space should exist between, before, and after each dot.

You should not reduce a quote by removing words. Although the ellipsis signifies that some text was removed, the shorter quote should still accurately reflect the author’s point.

Example: Using ellipsis to shorten a quote

As Darwin (1859) puts it, “natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight, successive, favorable variations . . . it can act only by very short and slow steps” (p. 510).

More Consideration:

Signal Phrases

Readers should feel able to switch between your words and the quotes without feeling a sudden shift. Signal phrases are used to help prepare readers for the quote. You don’t have to cite the author’s name again in your in-text citation. Instead, include the page number (if any) at the end or paraphrased section.

When should you use quotations

When should you use quotations?

Avoid relying on quotes in academic papers or essays. Paraphrasing is a way to refer to information from a source. It’s a way to put the passage in your own words. Paraphrasing shows you have understood the text well and makes your voice dominant.

There are situations where quotes may be more appropriate.

Focusing on language

It is important to quote the passage to comment on how the author uses language, such as in papers about literature, linguistics, and communication.

Example

A paper is being written about modernist authors’ novels. To analyze the style and language of these novels, you will need to cite them often.

If you are giving evidence

It’s helpful to include quotes supporting your position or argument to convince the reader. It is especially credible to use quotes from primary sources, such as interview transcripts and historical documents, as evidence.

Example

You’re writing a paper on the causes of historical events. You have read letters and documents from the time. These sources can be used as evidence to support your argument.

If you are presenting the author’s position/definition

If you refer to secondary sources, such as journal articles and scholarly books, a brief quote can be used to highlight the ideas, theories, or arguments of other authors. Citing can be used to support your position or criticize a position you don’t agree with.

When possible, try to express others’ ideas using your own words. Suppose a passage is very effective at explaining, explaining, or defining something, and it would be difficult to paraphrase it without losing its meaning or impact. In that case, it might be worth quoting directly.

Note: Cite the author only if you quote from electronic sources that don’t provide page numbers (such as Web pages).

Example

A well-known theory about your topic supports your interpretation of survey data. A sentence sums up the theory in a perfect way, so you can quote the author before explaining your understanding.

Paraphrasing from Multiple Pages

Include multiple pages if the paraphrased information/idea comes from more than one page.

Example:

Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research paper following the publication of John Bowlby’s studies (Hunt 50, 55, 65-71).

How many quotes should I use?

The number of quotes you include will depend on your research papers and the subject matter.

Because scientific subjects are more important than the way it is presented, quotes should be kept to a minimum. However, in the arts and humanities, carefully chosen quotes can be crucial to a great paper.

The amount of quotes you use in social sciences depends on whether you are doing quantitative or qualitative research. You should limit the number of quotes if you are dealing with statistics and numbers. However, if you are dealing with words, you will need to use the collected data.

We recommend that quotations not exceed 5-10% of your paper. You can always ask your supervisor or instructor for guidance on how much quoting is appropriate for your field.

FAQs

How do I cite a quote in academic writing?

When you quote a source in academic writing, it is important to include an in-text citation. It will look slightly different depending upon the citation style.

A direct quotation from APA style can be cited as follows: “This is a quotation” (Streefkerk 2020, p. 5).

A complete reference at the end must also accompany each in-text citation.

What is a “blockquote”?

Blockquotes are long quotations that are separated by text. To mark the quote apart from your own words, instead of using quotation marks, place the quote on a separate line and indent it.

The citation style will determine the rules regarding when block quotation formatting should be applied.

  • APA block quotations are at least 40 words long.
  • MLA block quotations are longer than four lines of prose and three lines of poetry.
  • Chicago block quotes can be more than 100 words long.

Note: The quotation is no quotation marks around

How do you cite a quote from a person?

If you cite a direct quotation by someone other than the author, it is important to introduce the person and use double quotation marks.

How do you cite a direct quote?

You will need to include the author and year of publication if you are directly quoting a work.

How do you cite quotes in an essay?

In-text citations contain the author’s last name, followed by the page number. “Here is a direct quote” (Smith 8. If the author’s name is not provided, you can use the first word of the title. Use the same formatting as in the works citable list. For example, use quotation marks.

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