how to cite quotations in an essay
1. Quoting brief fragments.
You may cut me with your eyes,
Do not use an ellipsis if you are merely borrowing a phrase from the original:
Vary the way you introduce quotations to avoid sounding monotonous. But never sacrifice precision of phrasing for the sake of variety.
“The politics that’s needed to prevent the climate catastrophe – it doesn’t exist today. We need to change the system” (Thunberg, qtd. in Gessen).
In social sciences, the amount of quotes you use depends partly on whether you’re doing qualitative or quantitative research. If you’re dealing mainly with numbers and statistics, you shouldn’t include many quotes, but if you’re dealing mainly with words, you will need to quote from the data you collected.
Today I have an illustration of how you may write a sentence in a variety of ways and still be following perfect APA Style. All of the following citations of a direct quote are in correct APA Style, citing the author, year, and page number.
Of course, these are just a few of the possible wordings for this sentence. Each of these examples properly cites the direct quotation, but I’ve varied the placement of the citation information. By changing the order of information in the sentence, I can choose what information to emphasize.
Variation: When you’re citing two or more paragraphs, you must use block quotes, even if the passage you want to quote is less than four lines long. You should indent the first line of each paragraph an extra quarter inch. Then, use ellipses (…) at the end of one paragraph to transition to the next.
Using a direct quote in your essay is a great way to support your ideas with concrete evidence, which you need to support your thesis. To select a good quote, look for a passage that supports your argument and is open to analysis. Then, incorporate that quote into your essay, and make sure you properly cite it based on the style guide you’re using.