Any kind of creative work needs some kind of inspiration. If you have to write an essay, you need to think of a couple of original ideas and express them in your work. However, your ideas might not be understood, no matter how insightful or suitable they are. Often your knowledge and skills are just not enough. That’s exactly the time you should find some quotes to support your arguments.
Choosing a quotation is not as easy as it may seem at first. There are a couple of points to consider. You need support from a source that is considered reliable. That means the writer or creator of the source should be considered an expert in that field. Furthermore, the quote should come from a scholarly source, preferably peer-reviewed. You should consult your online school database for sources first. Checking the credibility of a quote on a website is a bit more difficult, yet not impossible.
The author of the source should be listed, as well as a publishing date or update. Besides knowing that the author is an expert in the area in which you are researching, the author’s affiliation with an organization should also be provided. When in doubt, you can always ask your teacher for an advice.
Using quotes is like using salt when cooking soup: too much is bad and too little is also bad. So, use a quote only when it’s needed. For example, if you state an argument, you may want to support it with evidence provided by a well-known scientist. On the other hand, you may want to argue that a point some authority expresses is contradictory or not true. You might also use two quotes with contrasting ideas and then dwell on the differences in the viewpoints of the two authors. Another instance where quotes are necessary is in providing evidence or statistical data from reliable sources.
Once you’ve identified the extract from a book or an article you want to cite and determined a reason for doing so, you must quote correctly. Use double quotation marks to identify the sentence taken from another source. Single quotation marks are used to indicate a quotation inside a quotation. Also, all the commas and full stops should be left within the double quotation marks. Use three dots (an ellipsis) if you don’t want to use the full sentence (…), and use brackets ([example]) if you want to insert your own words to make a quote clearer to the reader, for example when the quote is not so clear without the context it was originally used in.
Finally, you need to cite the source for your quote, using the appropriate formatting rules. Otherwise, if you use a quotation incorrectly, without quotation marks or without citing the source, it may be regarded as plagiarism. This is the last thing you want to happen to you. As you can see, knowing how to use quotations is a must for every student, and you are no exception. So, we hope you can use all these tips in writing a high quality, scholarly paper.
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