How do you integrate a quotation into an essay?

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carol-davis | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Integrating quotations into your writing affords another avenue to improve your writing.  The word integrating has several meanings: putting together, incorporating, and assimilating. All of these definitions mean to include the quotation in the writing and then responding to it. Integrating a direct quotation in your writing not only reinforces the point you are making but additionally makes your writing more interesting.

There are several ways to integrate quotations.  The most basic approach follows this pattern:

  • Introduce the quotation through a sentence and end the sentence with a colon. 
  • After the colon, you will give your quotation. 
  • Cite your source using Mla or APA.
  • After the quotation, you will give a brief analysis of the quotation's relevance to your point. 

Again here is the pattern:

1. Write a sentence explaining the quotation, its point or link to your point.

2. colon

3. The direct quotation itself

4. Cite the place that you found your quotation. Follow APA OR MLA guidelines.

5.  A follow up sentence (s) furthering the point you were making with the quotation.

Here is an example from the story "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant.

The old adage states that appearances are deceiving: "Suddenly she discovered...a superb diamond necklace; her heart began to beat covetously."(Cite your source) Although Mathilde Loisel believes that the necklace is genuine, later the reader learns along with the main character that the necklace is actually a fake.

Follow this pattern and you will never just hand a quotation out in the middle of a paragraph with no explanation or understanding of why you included it.

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