How to quote in a research paper

Research paper is a must writing for any student, but to make it more convincing, the majority inserts different quotations. In most cases, it looks ridiculous to the teachers because of the inappropriate use. If you want to impress your teacher with a quote in your research paper, look through the text below to do it properly.

Use different kinds of quotes

Many people who put the citations into the paper don’t know where to put punctuation marks and format the citation itself. To do it in a right way, first you should get to know all the types of quotations to know which kind you are using.

Full sentence quotes

Those types of citations are popular in writing where you try to provide your point of view or argument through the other’s man’s words to show that you are not the only person to thick so. Full sentence quotes usually are semantically and grammatically finished sentenced. Despite its feature, like all the other citations, it should have context before, but not be a standalone phrase in your work. Before the quotation itself, you need to introduce the person whose these words are (signal phrase) in a complete sentence.

Dropped quotes

These ones consist only of two or three words. As a rule, taken from the middle of the text or speech. It means, that this kind of quotation should only be mentioned in a complete sentence, where will only complement it and not give the finished thought. To introduce the owner of the words, tag in the end of a citation is usually used.

Block quotes

This type reminds of full sentence quotes. They are much bigger though. As a rule, block quotes consist of the finished thought which was taken from the text of a speech. However, these quotations present the whole opinion they can be used only to support your opinion but not to present it. To format it correctly you need to introduce the owner of it right before the citation. Usually starting with the words “according to” goes the name of a person. Block quotes don’t need quotation marks; as the reference to the excerption was mentioned along with the name of its author.

Indirect quotes

If you think that changing the word order, adding synonyms or paraphrasing someone else’s words, you don’t cite it, you are wrong. This type of quotation s called indirect quote. To make it as one, you have to change the original saying at least at 50%. Then it won’t be counted as plagiarism. Creating an indirect quote is the most difficult task, as you should understand what it is about to reorganize its structure. If you don’t understand the sense of it, it is better to put it aside and pick something else, as this failed quotation may ruin the impression on the whole work. If you can’t change the excerption in your own words, use Thesaurus to find synonyms and use dictionaries to change the structure of the sentences but to leave the main point the same.

Punctuation marks

To format your citations, you use the same punctuation marks as in the regular text. The rules are different for it though, so, here is the list of marks you have to use and the rules how to use it in a quote:

  • Obviously, the comma (or period in some cases) will go right after your quotation.
  • Question and exclamation marks. If the excerption itself has those marks in the original text, you should keep them in your writing as well. However, if you personally want to emphasize the importance of the citation by questioning or exclaiming it, you must put the corresponding mark outside the quotation mark.
  • If the thought you are quoting is too long and consists of the words you don’t need somewhere in the middle, you may use ellipses to show you’ve skipped those words. Therefore, you show this quotation was formatted by you. Remember, that ellipses must be used only once, either inside the citation or outside it.
  • On contrary to ellipses, brackets are used to add some information that is not given in the excerption. Usually it is used to add names of people of places to give reader the context to understand the whole idea.

Choosing the quote

Find the YOUR quote

While choosing the quotation, be sure it suits your text perfectly. It should bring the same idea and point you are mentioning. Also, you should understand it properly and be ready to explain the reason you’ve chosen exactly this one. If the citation doesn’t support your arguments or questions it somehow, pick another one. So it wouldn’t weaken your text. Moreover, if the citation sounds confused or unclear even with the context before it, don’t use it too. The quotation you are inserting should be clear for anyone without any explanations and enhance your position about the topic. Don’t forget that quotations are not filling words. They should only be mentioned to strengthen your writing.

Inserting the quote

Quoting means copying the words of the other person. If you cite someone, you must repeat every single word he said, so it means that summarizing the thought of the person in his words is not quotation. Unless you are doing indirect quotation, you mustn’t change a thing in a quotation. Even a single comma should stay in its place. If the quotation has any mistake in it (grammatical or semantic) and you’ve found it, don’t correct it. For such cases, use the abbreviation sic, which means same in copy. This way you will show that the mistake wasn’t made by you, but by the person you are quoting.

Quoting in different style papers

The style of your paper makes the difference while formatting the excerption. In different styles (MLA, APA and others) different ways are used to format the excerption. Apart from the punctuation marks rule, additional rules and signs are presented. These can be colons and semicolons, number at the top, parenthetical citation or additional brackets. Before you put the citation in the text, make sure you know how to do it correctly; otherwise it can be counted as plagiarism.