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How can I incorporate quotes into my essay without prefacing with "In the quote..."?

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There are several ways to add quotes to body paragraphs, such as including the quote as part of your assertion.

Using quotations correctly is an essential part of academic writing. Generally, the pattern is something along the lines of the following:

  1. Make an assertion about a source text.
  2. Provide a quotation from the text that you think is evidence that the assertion is true.
  3. Explain how you think the quotation supports your assertion.

From a stylistic point of view, there are many ways to implement this pattern, other than to say "In the quote..." Partly, this depends on the length of the quotation you wish to use. If it is relatively short—say, part of a sentence—a good strategy is to include the quote as part of the sentence that makes the assertion. For instance, in a paper about Moby Dick, one could write,

Like Milton's Satan, Ahab would "strike the sun if it insulted [him]."

This is much cleaner and engaging than something like the following:

In the quote where Ahab says "I'd strike the sun if it insulted me," Ahab is like Milton's Satan.

Of course, in each case, the natural next step is to explain how Ahab's outburst is like Satan (presumably also using some quotations from Paradise Lost as evidence).

There are many other ways to vary or omit the "In the quote..." phrase. Sometimes, if the relation between assertion and quotation is obvious, you can simply use a colon. Other common signal phrases are "for example" or "for instance."

For instance, when he tells Starbuck that he would "strike the sun if it insulted him," he means ...

If the quotation is long (say a few sentences or even a paragraph), you can us a block quote, where the quotation is separated from the body of the paper using a block indent (typically, each line of the quote is indented one inch from the left margin). These types of quotations should be used sparingly and only when the quoted material is of special significance to your argument. The assertion part of the pattern should be correspondingly more developed, and the explanation part should be more detailed.

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