How to Use Quotes in an Essay

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Date Submitted: 07/21/2011 04:11 AM

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How to Use Quotes in an Essay

"Quotations" are funny little things.  People like to use them to start essays, in the body of essays, and at the end of essays.  They are an integral part to research papers and add merit and credibility to general essays. However, there is a specific way to use them.  If quotations are used incorrectly, they can cause much more harm than they are worth.  Here are some tips so that you will know always how to use a quotation in an essay .

• Definition: Quotations are never officially called "quotes."  "Quotes" are the easy, colloquial way of saying "quotation." You can say "quote" if you want in speech.  However, in an essay , you will always want to write out the word, "quotation."

• Open/End: In full quotations, the first quotation mark is called, ‘the open quote," and the second quotation mark is called the "close quote."

• Punctuation: Punctuation marks always fall inside the quotation mark.  For examples, "If your sentence ends after the second mention of the word ‘here,’ then you should place your period here."  The period, comma, exclamation, or question mark should always fall before the end quotation mark.

• Citations: Quotations are vital when citing specific documentation.  If you are quoting an author, book, article, or person, then you must always use a quotation.  You can introduce the quote by saying that John Doe says in The Times Daily News that, "People like to use quotations marks."  Or, you can simply write the quotation (using the quotation marks) and end the sentence with the internal documentation.  See the next bullet for internal documentation.

• Internal Documentation:   In essays, you will inevitably use quotations from original and primary sources. Consequently, you will need to cite them internally (or via footnotes, an antiquated style).  When documenting a specific quotation, you will omit the end punctuation (period, exclamation mark, question mark), put the close quote mark,...