Direct Quotations

In writing your paper, you may have not only used the ideas of your sources, but also direct quotations, the actual words of the author. Exact quotations ALWAYS require an internal citation.

  1. Use quotations that are directly relevant to your subject. Too many quotations without sufficient explanation are unacceptable. Generally four to five short quotations are sufficient for an 8 – 10 page paper.
  2. Make sure that the quotation presents the author’s exact words. Never change spelling, capitalization, or punctuation.
  3. If the quotation is fewer than three lines, it should be introduced and incorporated into your sentences. Place the internal citation directly after the words you are quoting and before the end mark of the sentence.

    Example: 
    "By the time Nixon read my memorandum he had calmed down 
    sufficiently to write ‘superb job’ on it (Kissinger 163).
     
  4. If the quotation is three lines or more, it should be indented an additional inch at the left margin on the page. Do not indent further for the beginning of a paragraph and set the entire section off with quotation marks.

    Example:
    "Within five minutes of reaching my office at ten o’clock in the evening I called two leading conservatists, Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater. Both promised their support if the President did not change from the commitment to Taiwan, expressed to me by the President at Andrew’s Air Force Base." (Kissinger 193)
     
  5. Any quotation you use must be followed by an internal citation. Inside the parentheses, 
    you will place the author’s last name and page number on which the quote appeared.

    Example: 
    (Elliott 75)