How & When To Use Quotations - Online Article

What are Quotations ?

Quotation is the term used for the repetition of words that are used by somebody in the past. When speech or spoken words of a character from a play or novel are repeated, it is referred to as quoting that character. The use of quotes requires quotation marks, speech marks or inverted commas to indicate the repetition. Quotations help a great deal in convincing the audience or readers of the truth in the particular theory. Hence quotations serve as the support for a person’s ideas but it should be remembered that they are not a replacement of the ideas or the means of telling a story. Quotes contribute to providing assistance in surveying the use of themes, characters and language in a play or novel.

Quotations are the most fabulous techniques to put that extra ‘something’ into an essay. They serve as really good hooks or attention-grabbers. They are great ways to provide evidence for a thesis statement or premises. Quotations can grab the interest of the readers and motivate the reader further to continue reading.

How & When to Use Quotations ?

Quotations are the important attention grabbers in an essay; moreover they create a lasting effect on the readers of the essay and prompt them to read further. However, while using quotations in an essay it should be remembered that it is important to use quotations, but not too many of them. The essay should reflect the thoughts of the writer about the topic and should include just a bunch of quotations about what others think and feel. The quotations should be cited correctly. To use somebody else’s words and not give them credit is termed as ‘plagiarism’ in simple words. The excessive use of quotations indicates that there is a lack of original ideas on the subject of the essay. The essence of using quotations is to add emphasis to the ideas, and not to replace them. It is sign of poor writing skills to use a quotation with the concept that it would be self-explanatory. The real meaning of the quotation and its relevance with the topic need to be specified. To do this, it is sometimes necessary to express ones own understanding on it.

The use of quotations in an essay is similar to the use of examples for the purpose of clarifying an idea. The use of quotations must be understood to be limited to increasing support and serving to clarify the ideas in an essay. The method of using quotations is that they require some kind of interpretive phrasing following the quotation to point out that the meaning of the quotation is being explained and how it is useful in establishing a certain perspective. These interpretive phrases include: Thus it is clear, therefore it is apparent, and consequently it can be seen, etc.

Quotations seem to be most attractive when they are used with accurate and original words. Another point to be kept in mind while using quotations is that they should be punctuated properly. There are some instances when the use of quotations in an essay requires acknowledgement of any omissions from the original words and editorial comments to clarify complex ideas and correct grammar. For instance, in the case of paraphrasing and summarizing, the quotation being used must first be introduced; this introduction is separate from the explanation of the quotation’s relevance by integrating the quotation within the text and naming the source involved. Quotations can be used in an essay to add humor to it (How To Use Quotations Effectively).

The following points summarize when and how quotations should be used:  

  • Quotations should be used when the specific language of a quote is important.
  • Quotations should be used when accuracy is essential for the purpose of indicating the writer's exact position.
  • Quotations should be used to support the essay writers arguments, rather than relying upon someone else's words.
  • Quotations should be used at a minimum level. A short phrase or sentence is more easily understood than a long quotation.
  • Instead of quoting the whole quotation, the most important of it should be searched for and then extracted.
  • A quotations should be paraphrased in the writers own words when possible.
  • If a quotation is more than four lines long, it should be separated from the text of the essay by using indentions.
  • A quotation should be introduced with a complete sentence and a colon.
  • While using a quotation, indent ten spaces, double space the lines, and do not use quotation marks.
  • Do not indent the opening line unless the quote begins a new paragraph

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Prashant Gaur on 2009-02-20 08:43:00 wrote,

A very good Article....may be of br8 use .... & i found out it quite interesting as well...!!!