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Introducing and referencing quotes

Introducing and referencing quotes

Author: Dan Reade
Description:
  1.   Explain how to introduce and reference short quotes in MLA style.

  2.   Explain how to introduce and reference longer block quotes in MLA style.

  3. Explain how to introduce and reference short quotes in APA style.

  4.   Explain how to introduce and reference longer block quotes in APA style.

This packet should help a learner seeking to understand English documentation and who is confused about how to incorporate quotes. It will explain the different formatting for short and long quotes in both MLA and APA styles.

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Tutorial

Introduction To Quotes

The use of quotes is a regular part of scholarly essays. The units below will introduce writers to the basics of including both short and long quotes with two of the most common forms of paper formatting/citation - MLA and APA.

Please keep the following in mind when going through this packet: the source from which a quote is taken will often have a significant impact on how the quote is included and cited. While these packets introduce the basics, it is always recommended to have on hand a textbook or other source that details all the intricacies of MLA and APA citations. Writers should double check citations to make sure they are done accurately. Instructors can also be a great source of information on proper paper and citation formatting.

Good luck!

Source: Dan Reade

Short Quotes in MLA

 

To introduce and reference short quotes using MLA style, the writer must have two pieces of information:

  1. The name of the author(s) of the source.
  2. The page number.

The author of a source will likely be a person, but it may also be an organization or other group. If the source does not have an author, use a shortened version of the title of the source instead, usually the first one or two words, though not words like "The" or "A." If no page number is listed, then that information is not included in the citation.

From there, the quote will be introduced and referenced in one of two manners.

Through a signal phrase

A signal phrase is a phrase that introduces the author of a quote. Examples include: "According to Dan Reade...," "Reade states...," "As Reade explains...," and so forth.

  • Signal phrases are traditional written in the present tense.
  • The first time an author is mentioned in a paper, the signal phrase traditionally uses the author's first and last name. Then, for every subsequent mention, only the last name is used. For works by two or three authors, list every name. For works with four or more authors, use the first author's name followed by "et. al." (Example: According to Reade et al....)
  • If no author is available, use a shortened version of the source's title.

The signal phrase serves to introduce the quote. At the end of the quote, put in parantheses the page number where the quote appears in the original source. If the page number is not available, list nothing.

Example: According to Dan Reade, "APA citation is easy" (1).

Example with no author name: According to "Short Quotes," "APA citation is easy" (1).

Example with no page number: According to Reade, "APA citation is easy."

Note that the page number, when it appears, goes inside the period.

Through paranthetic citation

Instead of using a signal phrase to introduce a quote, a writer can also simply present the quote in question, then place the two identifying pieces of information (author name and page number) in parantheses at the end of the sentence.

Example: "APA citation is easy" (Reade 1).

Example with no author name: "APA citation is easy" ("Short Quotes" 1).

Example with no page number: "APA citation is easy" (Reade).

Note the following:

  • In paranthetic citation, use only the author's last name, even if it is the first time the author is mentioned in the paper.
  • There is no punctuation (comma, etc.) between the author name and the page number.

Also note that the paranthetic citation goes inside the period.

 

There are, of course, many other sources one might use, so it was always handy to have a citation guide available when writing. However, the information above will cover the citation of most basic quotes in MLA format.

 

Source: Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. 6th ed.. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. Print.; Dan Reade

Long Quotes in MLA

Long quotes - defined by MLA as any quote taking more than four lines of typed text or more than three lines of poetry - are introduced, formatted, and cited differently than short quotes. The video below details the proper process for inclusion of long quotes.

Source: Hacker, Diana. Rules for Writers. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009.; Dan Reade

Short Quotes in APA

To introduce and reference short quotes using APA style, the writer must have three pieces of information:

  1. The name of the author(s) of the source.
  2. The year of publication.
  3. The page number where the quote appears in the source.

The author of a quote will likely be a person, but it may also be an organization or other group. If the source does not have an author, use the title of the source instead, usually the first one or two words of the title, though omiting words like "The" or "A." If no page number is listed, use a section heading or paragraph number if one is available.

From there, the quote will be introduced and reference in one of two manners.

Through a signal phrase

A signal phrase is a phrase that introduces the author of a quote. Examples include: "According to Reade (2011)...," "Reade (2011) stated...," "As Reade (2011) explained...," and so forth.

  • Signal phrases in APA are traditionally written in the past tense.
  • The signal phrases uses only the last name of the author or authors (if there is more than one). For works with up to five authors, list every name. For works with more than five authors, use the first author's name followed by "et. al." (Example: According to Reade et al....)
  • The name of the author or authors is always followed by the year (and only the year) of publication in parantheses. 
  • If no author is available, use a shortened version of the source's title.
  • If no publication date is available, insert "n.d." (without quotation marks) instead.

The signal phrase serves to introduce the quote. At the end of the quote, put in parantheses the page number where the quote appears in the original source. If the page number is not available, use a section heading or paragraph number instead.

Example: According to Reade (2011), "APA citation is easy" (pg. 1).

Example with no author name: According to "Short Quotes" (2011), "APA citation is easy" (pg. 1).

Example with no page number: According to Reade (2011), "APA citation is easy" (para. 1).

Note that the page or paragraph number goes inside the period.

Through paranthetic citation

Instead of using a signal phrase to introduce a quote, a writer can also simply present the quote in question, then place the three identifying pieces of information (author name, publication year, and page number) in parantheses at the end of the sentence.

Example: "APA citation is easy" (Reade, 2011, pg. 1).

Example with no author name: "APA citation is easy" ("Short Quotes," 2011, pg. 1).

Example with no page number: "APA citation is easy" (Reade, 2011, para. 1).

Note that the paranthetic citation goes inside the period.

 

There are, of course, many other sources one might use, so it was always handy to have a citation guide available when writing. However, the information above will cover the citation of most basic quotes in APA format.

Source: Hacker, D. (2009). Rules for Writers (6th ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's; Dan Reade

Long Quotes for APA

Long quotes - defined by APA as any quote longer than 40 words - are introduced, formatted, and cited differently than short quotes. The video below details the proper process for inclusion of long quotes.

Source: Hacker, D. (2009). Rules for Writers (6th ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's; Dan Reade