Tag Archives: quotation

Making quotations work for you

by Samuel Sugarman

Quotation integration sounds wordy and abstract but, put simply, this procedure is how you make a quotation work for you. Quotations are fantastic literary tools that, when used correctly, can greatly improve the clarity and strength of your paper. I’m sure that you have run into a situation where you were writing a paper and found a great, supporting quotation, but didn’t know how to fit it in your paper. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, it happens to everyone. There are some great ways to make your quote fit into your paper seamlessly, and you have probably already used them without knowing it.

There are three main ways I like to integrate quotes:

  1. In the first style, introduce your quote with a complete sentence ending with a colon. Then boom, you insert your quote. I’m a visual guy, and I’m not good at picturing literary styles, so let’s try it with an example. Let’s say I’m quoting Chuck Norris when he says, “Violence is my last option.” If I use this first style, I will start with a sentence ending in a colon and then insert my quote. So here we go. When asked about his martial arts, Chuck Norris always said the same thing: “Violence is my last option.”
  2. But wait there’s more, and it’s an elegant trick. You can introduce your quote with an introductory phrase followed by a comma, and then your quote. It looks like this. The wise Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
  3. Now check this out. I can use this same quote and integrate it into my sentence without using punctuation. All I must do is replace the comma with the word “that” and it works perfectly. The wise Benjamin Franklin once said that “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” No punctuation and it fits right in.

If you use these tricks, you can seamlessly place quotes into your paper to strengthen it.


Note: This does not include proper citation of quotations. Remember to check your citation style for how to properly attribute your quotation to its respective source!


Sugarman is a sophomore who has recently developed a love for writing. A business major, Sugarman hopes to make the writing center more welcoming to all students no matter their field of study.


Quotation alteration

by Shamus Jarvis

As a follow-up to my recent post describing how to integrate quotations effectively, I would like to explain how to modify quotations in order to further help you achieve a seamlessly integrated quotation.

There are two tools (or punctuation marks) used to modify a quote:

  1. Ellipses
  2. Square brackets [ ]

An ellipsis (…) signifies an omission from a quotation. This punctuation mark is especially useful if you are quoting a particularly lengthy passage and want to limit the amount of quoted material that appears in your essay. For example, assume I wanted to integrate the following quote from Sense and Sensibility into my paper: “‘I felt myself,’ she added, ‘to be as solemnly engaged to him, as if the strictest legal covenant had bound us to each other’” (Austen 133).

By omitting a couple of words from the passage, I can call my reader’s attention to specific phrases that are significant to whatever claim I am making, thereby increasing the strength of the quotation: Marianne’s decision to correspond with Willoughby through written letters reflects her misconstrued notions concerning the state of her relationship with him, causing her to later admit that “[she] felt [herself] … to be as solemnly engaged to [Willoughby], as if the strictest legal covenant had bound [them] together” (Austen 133).

You will notice that this integrated quotation combines both methods of quote modification. The square brackets indicate pronouns that I have substituted in order to clarify the subject of the quotation. It is important to recognize that as a result of these substitutions, I have not altered the meaning of the original quotation. Square brackets are useful in altering certain words so that your quotation is grammatically correct within the context of the sentence that appears in your paper.

As a result of utilizing these two punctuation marks in altering quotations, you should be able to produce an effective integrated quote that fluidly transitions between your own words and the quotation.


Shamus is about to begin his final year of study at Principia College and looks forward to spending part of his upcoming fall semester studying abroad in England.