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10.3: Smoothly Integrating Quotations

  • Page ID
    225943
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    WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SMOOTHLY INTEGRATE QUOTATIONS?

    When you are incorporating the direct language of others into your own writing, you want that integration to be fluid and seamless. You don’t want your reader to get lost or confused as you transition from your voice and ideas to another person’s. You want to use quotations in a way that clarify, support, and strengthen your writing.

    WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

    • Readers can better understand the relevance of smoothly integrated quotations.
    • Readers can clearly see the connection between an integrated quotation and what it is trying to prove or illustrate.
    • Readers can be better convinced by evidence presented in smoothly integrated quotations.
    • Readers don’t experience being lost or frustrated by quotations that appear unrelated, inappropriate, or off topic.

    HOW DO I SMOOTHLY INTEGRATE QUOTATIONS?

    A dropped quote is a quote from someone else that is placed in your writing but it stands alone and is not introduced and not integrated into a sentence of your own. A dropped quote interrupts the flow of your writing, as the reader must jump abruptly from your words to someone else’s and back again. Also, if you’re not integrating direct quotations into your own writing, you’re probably not giving your reader the context they need to understand the quote.

    Think of a quote as a helium balloon that needs an anchor to hold it down in your essay:

    clipboard_ee1a7262b285d0f6ed8ce0d5ccb095bc9.png clipboard_eb4fbf33d647680179e82245e4b167ca2.png clipboard_e54ffede36b4ef4785efaea5e460c5cce.png
    Dropped quote: A number of journalists have been critical of genetic engineering. “The problem is, no one really knows the long-term effects of such complex genetic manipulation—and the potential dangers to humans and the environment are substantial” (Turner 21). In order to successfully integrate quotations into your writing, you need to introduce or in some way lead into the quotation so that readers know whose words are being quoted or why the quotation is important. Integrated quote: A number of journalists have been critical of genetic engineering. Lisa Turner, in an article for the magazine Better Nutrition, targets the unpredictable nature of this new technology: “The problem is, no one really knows the long-term effects of such complex genetic manipulation—and the potential dangers to humans and the environment are substantial” (21).
    The quote stands on its own, and it’s not clear who Turner is or why this person is quoted. The relevance of the quote is not anchored so floats away in the reader’s mind. Tie a string to your balloon! In writing, that means creating a phrase that introduces, connects and anchors the quote to what you are discussing. In this sentence, the quote is anchored. We know who said it and why she is an authority, and it now flows in the logic of the sentence.

    II. Connect quotes to phrases that introduce them.

    Here are a few approaches for creating introductory phrases for quotes:

    1) Identify the speaker and context of the quote

    Example: Dee protests to her mother that her sister does not know the true value of the quilts, “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts! She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use” (Walker 490).

    2) Lead in with your own idea

    Example: Miss Emily Grierson’s house is a reflection of her being out of sync with the times: “But garages and cotton gins had encroached and obliterated even the august names of that neighborhood; only Miss Emily’s house was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and gasoline pumps—an eyesore among eyesores” (Faulkner 459).

    3) Formulas

    • In (title of source), (author) writes/ argues/ explains/ describes, "quote" (#).

    Example: In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou writes, "In Stamps the segregation was so complete that most Black children didn't really absolutely know what whites looked like" (20).

    • According to (author) in (title), "quote" (#).

    To avoid monotony, try to vary your formulas. The following models suggest a range of possibilities:

    In the words of researcher Herbert Terrace, “…”
    Jason Applegate, Smith’s trainer, points out, “…”
    “…,” claims linguist Noam Chomsky.
    Psychologist H.S. Terrace offers an odd argument for this view, “…”

    Also, by choosing an appropriate verb, you can make your stance clear and the description more alive and engaging:

    acknowledges

    adds

    admits

    agrees

    argues

    asserts

    believes

    characterizes

    claims

    comments

    compares

    condemns

    confirms

    contends

    contrasts

    criticizes

    declares

    defends

    demonstrates

    denies

    describes

    disputes

    distinguishes

    emphasizes

    endorses

    explains

    grants

    identifies

    illustrates

    implies

    insists

    justifies

    notes

    observes

    objects

    points out

    reasons

    refutes

    rejects

    reports

    responds

    shows

    suggests

    supports

    thinks

    writes

    wonders

    Practice: Integrating Quotes using introductory Phrases

    For each quote below, create a sentence that smoothly integrates the quote. Try a few different methods:

    Method #1: Identify the speaker and context of the quote:

    Quote: "On this island, you walk too far and people speak a different language. Their own words reveal who belongs on what side"

    Background information: From The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat, the speaker is Senora Valencia, page 304. Senora Valencia is referring to the island of Hispanola, which the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic share. She is speaking during the times that the dictator Trujillo had many Haitians murdered in and exiled from the Dominican Republic.

    Quote integrated into a sentence:


    Method #2: Lead in with your own idea:

    Quote: "They did not have the tanates to go up north and break through the wall of electric fences and enter the land of plenty, the U.S. of A., a land so rich that what garbage they throw away in one day could feed entire pueblos."

    Background information: From Macho! By Victor Villasenor, page 31. The book tells the story of a young man named Roberto from Michoacán who risks himself to go north to California to work as an illegal alien picking fruit in California.

    Quote integrated into a sentence:

    Method #3: Formula (try using a good and dynamic verb):

    Quote: "Racial targeting and abuse by police is costly. U.S. taxpayers have paid tens of millions of dollars in police brutality lawsuits. Between 1992 and 1993, Los Angeles county alone paid more than $30 million to citizens victimized by police brutality."

    Background information: From The Color of Crime by Katheryn K. Russell, page 45 who writes about the ways in which African-Americans are misrepresented by the media and mistreated within the criminal system.

    Quote integrated into a sentence:

    Answer

    Potential answers for INTEGRATING QUOTES USING INTRODUCTORY PHRASES EXERCISE

    Method #1: Identify the speaker and context of the quote:

    Senora Valencia describes the severe division that exists in her homeland of Hispanola due to Trujillo’s bloody dictatorship, "On this island, you walk too far and people speak a different language. Their own words reveal who belongs on what side” (Danticat 304).

    Method #2: Lead in with your own idea:

    Villasenor captures the decadence of the United States through the hungry eyes of Roberto, a young boy who risks going north to work illegally, "They did not have the tanates to go up north and break through the wall of electric fences and enter the land of plenty, the U.S. of A., a land so rich that what garbage they throw away in one day could feed entire pueblos” (31).

    Method #3: Formula (try using a good and dynamic verb):

    In The Color of Crime, Katheryn K. Russell exposes: "Racial targeting and abuse by police is costly. U.S. taxpayers have paid tens of millions of dollars in police brutality lawsuits. Between 1992 and 1993, Los Angeles county alone paid more than $30 million to citizens victimized by police brutality” (45).

    III. Follow quotes with an explanation of their significance.

    After the quote, provide your own reasoning and analysis explaining the significance and relevance of the quote.

    Here are a few approaches to ensure the inclusion of analysis and significance for the quotes you select:

    APPROACH 1: SAY, MEAN, MATTER?

    “Say, Mean, Matter” is a 3-step approach to select good quotes, understand them, and then analyze them.

    Practice

    SAY:
    What does the text say?
    MEAN:
    What does it mean?
    MATTER:
    Why does it matter?

    Find one or more significant quotations from the text. Write the quote(s) word for word in this column.

    Using your own words paraphrase/summarize what the quote(s) mean.

    Comment on why the quote(s) matter to you and what significance they have in the world. Explain how the excerpt(s) advance the author’s message as well as how they connect to an argument you could make based on them.


    This page titled 10.3: Smoothly Integrating Quotations is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Skyline English Department.

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