Many students tend to overuse direct quotations in their essays. Direct quotations should be used only when paraphrasing would change the effectiveness or meaning of the author's words or when the author is a noted authority and the idea could not be better expressed or said more succinctly. Although quotations are common in essays in the humanities, they are used less extensively in the social sciences, and rarely in scientiﬁc writing.
NOTE: Remember that you must reference the use of someone else's ideas or ﬁndings as well as direct quotations.
1. Introduce the Quotation with Your Own Words and Integrate it Grammatically into the Sentence
In this study, children were taught effective ways to deal with confrontations through role playing. "They demonstrated a signiﬁcant increase in generating relevant solutions to interpersonal problems at both post-testing and follow-up testing."
In this study, children were taught effective ways to deal with confrontations through role playing: "They demonstrated a signiﬁcant increase in generating relevant solutions to interpersonal problems at both post-testing and follow-up testing."
In this study, children who were taught effective ways to deal with confrontations through role playing "demonstrated a signiﬁcant increase in generating relevant solutions to interpersonal problems at both post-testing and follow-up testing."
2. Reproduce the Exact Wording, Punctuation, Capitalization and Spelling of the Original, Including Errors
Supplementary information should be enclosed:
- In square brackets if within the quotation
- In parentheses if after the quotation
Insert the word [sic] in square brackets after an error in the original.
He wrote, "I enjoy writting [sic], but ﬁnd it difficult."
If you want to underline or italicize for emphasis, write my emphasis or emphasis added in parentheses immediately following the closing quotation mark and before the end punctuation.
Hamlet says, "To be or not to be" (my emphasis).
Enclose in square brackets comments of your own added to clarify information in the original.
He felt that "it [the essay] should be analytical rather than descriptive."
3. Use the Proper Punctuation to Introduce Quotations
Use commas after an explanatory tag such as he said, she explained, they wrote, etc.
In his epilogue, Roberts stated, "I can't allow this abomination to continue."
"I can't," Roberts stated, "allow this abomination to continue."
Use a colon when the words introducing the quotation form a complete sentence, when you are introducing a verse quotation, or when a longer quotation is set off from the text.
She concluded with this statement: "I can't allow this abomination to continue."
Use no punctuation when the quoted words form part of the sentence.
She stated that she could not "allow this abomination to continue."
She told the readers that "this abomination" could not continue.
4. Use the Proper Punctuation to End Quotations
- Commas and periods are placed inside the ﬁnal quotation mark
- Semi-colons and colons are placed outside the ﬁnal quotation mark
- Question marks and exclamation points are placed inside only if the quotation is a question or an exclamation
She wrote, "What can I do to stop them?"
- Question marks and exclamation points are placed inside if both the quotation and the statement containing the quotation are questions or exclamations
Did she write, "What can I do to stop them?"
- Question marks and exclamation points are placed outside only if the statement is a question or exclamation
Did she write, "I can't allow this abomination to continue"?
- Do not use a period or comma as well as a question mark or exclamation point
"What can I do to stop them?", she wrote.
"What can I do to stop them?" she wrote.
She wrote, "What can I do to stop them?"
She wrote, "What can I do to stop them?"
5. Separate longer quotations from the text.
- Include within the text and use quotation marks around four lines or fewer of prose or three lines or fewer of poetry (use a slash (/) with a space on each side to signify the end of each line of poetry)
- Set off from the body of your text and omit quotation marks around ﬁve lines or more of prose or four lines or more of poetry. Indent one inch and use double spacing. These quotations are most often introduced by a colon
Smith explains the use of essay-writing terminology:
An assignment which asks you to do some library research to write on a topic may be called an essay, a paper, a research essay, a research paper, a term assignment, or a term paper. The terminology is not necessarily consistent: a term paper may tend to be a longer paper written in advanced courses, but not necessarily. You may be assigned a speciﬁc topic or asked to choose your own from subjects relevant to the course. (225)
NOTE: If the ﬁrst line of the quotation is the ﬁrst line of a paragraph, indent an additional quarter inch only if you are quoting several of the original paragraphs.
6. Use Single Quotation Marks for a Quotation within a Quotation
Bogel states, "Campaign slogans, for example, are often built on this presumed correlation of form with meaning, as in the hopeful phrase 'Win with Willkie,' which sought to connect victory with the candidate by means of alliterative bonding" (168).
7. To Omit Something from the Original
- To omit a line or more of a poem, use one full line of periods
- To omit material within a sentence, use three periods (ellipsis marks)
- To omit material at the end of a sentence, use four periods (to include the sentence period)
But of course these two "arguments" – that ﬁgurative language is necessary to deﬁne democracy, and that democracy permits such luxuries as ﬁgurative language – are really two faces of a single argument, an argument deﬁning democracy, in part, as that form of government which recognizes the necessity of certain luxuries.
(Source: Bogel, Fredric V. "Understanding Prose." Teaching Prose. Ed. Frederic V. Bogel and Katherine K. Gottschalk. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1988. 172.)
Use ellipsis when your words complete the sentence.
Bogel also claims that "these two 'arguments' . . . are really two faces of a single argument" (172) in spite of evidence to the contrary.
Use ellipsis when the quotation completes the sentence.
With endnotes or footnotes, use four periods.
Bogel also claims that "these two 'arguments' . . . are really two faces of a single argument . . . ."3
With parenthetical reference, place ﬁnal period after reference.
Bogel also claims that "these two 'arguments' . . . are really two faces of a single argument . . ." (172).
For more details on using quotations, refer to the following: Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2003.
If you are studying for the CPA exam or any other professional test, you know that sometimes you could use a little motivation from time to time.
Putting in tens of hours studying each week can be a drag and enough to make you want to quit pursuing your dream of passing the exam. Or worse, you might have failed a section of the exam in the past and you need motivation to pick yourself back up and take the test again.
I find inspirational test-taking quotes to be one of the biggest sources of motivation out there. Motivational test quotes have power and stick in your head. I’ve often turned these into mantras, speaking them out loud to myself and writing them down during my study process.
If you are studying for an exam and need a little motivation, here’s a few exam quotes that I’ve found pretty motivating. I hope they help you as much as they helped me.
Best Test Quotes
Encouragement for Exams Quotes
Life only has one rule: Never quit. – Unknown
In the middle of ever difficultly lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein
Do something that your future self will thank you for.
Ready for Exam Quotes
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Dreams don’t work unless you do.
Overcoming Fear of Exams Quotes
Don’t stress. Do your best. Forget the rest.
Nothing happens until something moves. – Albert Einstein
The best view comes after the toughest climb.
Quotes on Examination Success
The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.
Dream big and dare to fail. -Norman Vaughan
Work until your idols become your rivals.
Thought of Exam Quotes
Don’t think about tomorrow. Think about the task at hand.
Words of Wisdom for Exams
Wake up with determination and go to bed with satisfaction.
Final Exam Quotes on Hard Work and Diligence
There is no substitute for hard work. -Thomas Edison
Work in silence. Let success make the noise.
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
Finals Quotes on Tenacity and Persistence
Persistence is failing 19 times and succeeding on the 20th
A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence.
If you are going through hell, keep going. – Winston Churchill
Nothing worth having comes easy.
Exam Quotes on Taking the Initiative
You don’t have to do it right; you just have to do something.
Do something that scares you everyday.
Do something everyday that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.
Exam Quotes on Confronting Challenges
We don’t grow when something is easy. We grow when something is challenging.
When life gets harder, challenge yourself to get stronger.
Exam Quotes on Facing Failures
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. – Thomas Edison
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas Edison