I need a text in quotations to be used in my research paper. What format do I use?Do I need a page number or the name of the author? How do I place someone's words in my research paper?

Expert Answers
noahvox2 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When you're writing a paper in which you use information that doesn't come from your own brain, then you'll need to provide a reference to it.

First, you'll need to ask your teacher what style guide he/she wants you to use (for example, MLA, APA, Chicago), because many different style guides exist. Additionally, each different style guide has its own particular way of citing material.

Within the body of your paper, you can expect to give the author's last name and the page number. In APA style, you'll want to give the year of publication also.

Here are a few examples from APA style:

"Sixty percent of Americans like deer" (Buck, 1999, p. 20).

According to Buck (1999), "Sixty percent of Americans like deer" (p. 20).

Now, here are the same examples in MLA style, which customarily leaves out the year and avoid the punctuation found in APA style.

"Sixty percent of Americans like deer" (Buck 20).

According to Buck (20), "Sixty percent of Americans like deer."

One additional note: direct quotations should probably only make up about 10 percent of your paper. You need to summarize or paraphrase most of what you discover in your research. But, even if you do summarize or paraphrase information from other sources, you still have to give a reference to it.

So, if you write "Buck has argued that the majority of Americans have no aversion to deer", you still have to give the page number (if using MLA format) or the year and page number (if using APA format).




crystalleem | Student

Is this supposed to be in MLA format? If so, I'll show you how to do that.

Let's pretend I found a quote in a book by John Smith. The quote I like says, "This is something really brilliant." This quote comes on page 25 in the book.

You have a couple options. For all options, these sentences would be written into your paragraph

Option #1: "This is something really brilliant" (Smith 25). For this option, the last name is inside parenthesis and the page number is listed. Notice that the period comes outside of the parenthesis.

Option #2 is including the author name within the sentence. Smith states, "This is something really brilliant" (25). or "This," according to Smith, "is something really brilliant" (25). Notice this time, because the author's name is in the sentence, you only put the page number in parenthesis.