Using Quotes In Essays

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If you want to borrow an idea from an author, but do not need his or her exact words, you should try paraphrasing instead of quoting.

Most of the time, paraphrasing and summarizing your sources is sufficient (but remember that you still have to cite them! If you think it’s important to quote something, an excellent rule of thumb is that for every line you quote, you should have at least two lines analyzing it.

For example, let's say you want to quote from the following passage in an essay called "United Shareholders of America," by Jacob Weisberg: The citizen-investor serves his fellow citizens badly by his inclination to withdraw from the community. He does so by focusing his pursuit of happiness on something that very seldom makes people happy in the way they expect it to.

When you quote, you generally want to be as concise as possible.

However, just skipping it would not work -- the final sentence would not make sense without it. In order to do so, you will need to use some editing symbols.

Your quotation might end up looking like this: In his essay, “United Shareholders of America,” Jacob Weisberg insists that “The citizen-investor serves his fellow citizens badly by his inclination to withdraw from the community. by focusing his pursuit of happiness on something that very seldom makes people happy in the way they expect it to.” The brackets around the word [money] indicate that you have substituted that word for other words the author used.Most of the time, you can just identify a source and quote from it.Sometimes, however, you will need to modify the words or format of the quotation in order to fit in your paper.Many teachers I have worked with don’t like when students use quotes in essays.In fact, some teachers absolutely hate essay quotes.In this post I break these down for you one at a time.Once you have mastered these quotation writing rules you’ll be on your way to growing your marks in your next paper.Although it stood with its head raised, even its yellowed wings had been eaten by insects.He thought of his entire life and felt tears and cruel laughter welling up inside. With this gesture Akutagawa ironizes the impossibility of truly writing the self by emphasizing the inevitable split that must occur between writing and written “self,” the Akutagawa still writing “A Fool's Life” cannot possibly be identical with the narrated persona which has finished the work.To make a substitution this important, however, you had better be sure that [money] is what the final phrase meant -- if the author intentionally left it ambiguous, you would be significantly altering his meaning.That would make you guilty of fraudulent attribution.

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