How to Use Quotations in Your Research Paper 1

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1 December 2012 English Department Writing Workshop How to Use Quotations in Your Research Paper 1 I. INTRODUCTION: To support your arguments and analysis, you will necessarily refer to primary sources (the poem, play or novel under discussion), and in addition you may also use secondary sources (critical works). A primary or secondary source may be used by direct quotation, summary or paraphrase. In summary or paraphrase you do not merely change a word here or there but you use your own words and syntax throughout. No quotation marks are used, but the source must be acknowledged. In a quotation, whether from a literary text or a critical source, the exact words of the original text are used. The quotation must be accurate: do not change words, spelling or punctuation unless you do so for the reasons and according to the rules discussed below. Enclose the quotation in double quotation marks (i.e., To be or not to be: that is the question ) and then acknowledge. For a quotation within a quotation, use single quotation marks for the inner quotation. With longer quotations, which are indented, no quotation marks are used. In all cases, you must ensure that the connection between your enclosing statement and the quotation is clear, logical and forceful. It is extremely important to integrate the quotation grammatically into your own sentence or paragraph: the standard techniques for doing so are illustrated below. II. INTEGRATING SHORT QUOTATIONS INTO YOUR TEXT: Do not just "parachute" quotations into your essay. The following passage is an example of a poorly integrated quotation: The ancient Greeks never saw a need to justify wars that were waged outside the walls of the city state. "Hence we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war, together with the first notion that there are just and 1 This section on using quotations is adapted from "Using Quotations," by Jerry Director of the University College Writing Centre, University of Toronto.

2 unjust wars" (Arendt 12). Yet the Roman conception of a just war differs sharply from more modern conceptions. When you are making decisions about how to integrate quotations into your essay, you might imagine that you are reading the essay out loud to an audience. You would not read the parenthetical note. Without some sort of introduction, your audience would not even know that the statement about Roman antiquity was a quotation, let alone where the quotation came from. The following offers just one way of introducing the above quotation: The ancient Greeks never saw a need to justify wars that were waged outside the walls of the city state. As Hannah Arendt points out in On Revolution, "we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war, together with the first notion that there are just and unjust wars" (12). Yet the Roman conception of a just war differs sharply from more modern conceptions. Since the quotation is relatively short, the brief introduction works. You could, however, strengthen your analysis by demonstrating the significance of the passage within your own argument. Introducing your quotation with a full sentence would help you assert greater control over the material: The ancient Greeks never saw a need to justify wars that were waged outside the walls of the city state. In On Revolution, Hannah Arendt points to the role the Romans played in laying the foundation for later thinking about the ethics of waging war: "we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war, together with the first notion that there are just and unjust wars" (12). Yet the Roman conception of a just war differs sharply from more modern conceptions. In these two examples, observe the forms of punctuation used to introduce the quotations. When you introduce a quotation with a full sentence, you should always place a colon at the end of the introductory sentence. When you introduce a quotation with an incomplete sentence, you usually place a comma after the introductory phrase. Arendt writes: "we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war..." If you are blending the quotation into your own sentence using the conjunction that, do not use any punctuation at all: Arendt writes that "we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war...."

3 III. ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES OF HOW TO INTEGRATE QUOTATIONS: A short poetry quotation of one line or less is written as part of your sentence. For example, in a discussion of John Donne's poem "Batter my heart", you may write as follows: Batter my heart, three-personed God is a plea for salvation by a spiritually impotent man. or Batter my heart, three personed God the opening line in John Donne s famous sonnet is a plea for salvation by a spiritually impotent man. A poetry quotation of two lines may be integrated into the text or separated from it. If the two lines are integrated, use a slant (/) to show the line break, two slants for a stanza break (//) and retain the capital letter at the beginning of the second line. For example, in the same Donne poem, you may write: The poet feels entirely corrupted; he begs to be demolished, for he cannot be repaired: Batter my heart, three-personed God; for You / As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend" (lines 1-2). A poetry quotation of more than two lines is separated from your text, indented (somewhat more than paragraphs), single-spaced, written as the lines are printed in the original and it appears without quotation marks: Example: The poem is built upon a series of paradoxes. The poet must be destroyed before he can be rebuilt, defeated before he can be victorious: Take me to You, imprison me, for I, Except You enthrall me, never shall be free, Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. (lines 12-14) Short quotations of prose (less than three lines) can be integrated into your text: Stephen Dedalus will not pay false homage to the symbols of authority, and he articulates his position thus: I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland or my church (Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 23).

4 Long quotations of prose (more than three lines) are set off from your main text and indented. These are known as block quotations. No quotation marks are used since the quotation is sufficiently set off from your text by indentation. Make sure there is a clear connection between the quotation and the body of your paper: Example: The opposition between activity and passivity, between life and death, is expressed also in the structure of the story. As literary critic Hart points out: Joyce allows the opposition to be reflected in the form of the story. The first section, much the longest, is entirely lacking in action, either physical or psychological; Eveline s thoughts simply succeed one another according to the process of free association. The brief flurry of action in the last makes the victory of paralysis all the more evident. (24-25) IV. VERBS & PHRASES TO USE WHEN INTRODUCING QUOTATIONS INTO YOUR TEXT: Familiarize yourself with the various verbs commonly used to introduce quotations. Here is a partial list: argues writes points out concludes comments notes maintains suggests insists observes counters asserts states claims demonstrates says explains reveals Each verb has its own nuance. Make sure that the nuance matches your specific aims in introducing the quotation. There are other ways to begin quotations. Here are three common phrasings: In the words of X,... According to X,... In X's view,... Vary the way you introduce quotations to avoid sounding monotonous. But never sacrifice precision of phrasing for the sake of variety. V. HOW DO YOU LET YOUR READER KNOW YOU'VE ALTERED YOUR SOURCE?

5 If you need to alter your quotations in any way, be sure to indicate just how you have done so. If you remove text, then replace the missing text with an ellipsis three periods surrounded by spaces: In The Mirror and the Lamp, Abrams comments that the "diversity of aesthetic theories... makes the task of the historian a very difficult one" (5). Many people overuse ellipses at the beginning and end of quotations. Use an ellipsis in either place only when your reader might otherwise mistake an incomplete sentence for a complete one: Abraham Lincoln begins "The Gettysburg Address" with a reminder of the act upon which the United States was founded: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation..." (1). Do not use an ellipsis if you are merely borrowing a phrase from the original: In "The Gettysburg Address" Abraham Lincoln reminds his listeners of the principles that had inspired the creation of "a new nation" (1). It is extremely important that all quotations fit grammatically into your sentence, so that both can be read as a unit. To achieve integration, you may have to change the grammar of the quotation slightly. If you need to alter or replace text from the original, enclose the added text within square brackets. You may, for example, need to alter text to ensure that pronouns agree with their antecedents. Do not write, Gertrude asks her son Hamlet to "cast your nighted colour off" (1.2.68). Square brackets allow you to absorb Gertrude's words into your own statement: Gertrude asks her son Hamlet to "cast [his] nighted colour off" (1.2.68). Alternatively, you can include Gertrude's original phrasing in its entirety as long as the introduction to the quotation is not fully integrated with the quotation. The introduction can be an independent clause: Gertrude implores her son Hamlet to stop mourning the death of his father: "cast your nighted colour off" (1.2.68). Or it can be an incomplete sentence: Gertrude implores her son Hamlet, "cast your nighted colour off" (1.2.68).

6 December 2012 English Department Writing Workshop Paraphrasing & Summarizing 2 To paraphrase means to express someone else's ideas in your own language. To summarize means to distill only the most essential points of someone else's work. Paraphrase and summary are indispensable tools in essay writing because they allow you to include other people's ideas without cluttering up your essay with quotations. They help you take greater control of your essay. Consider relying on either tool when an idea from one of your sources is important to your essay but the wording is not. You should be guided in your choice of which tool to use by considerations of space. But above all, think about how much of the detail from your source is relevant to your argument. If all your reader needs to know is the bare bones, then summarize. Ultimately, be sure not to rely too heavily on either paraphrase or summary. Your ideas are what matter most. Allow yourself the space to develop those ideas. I. HOW TO PARAPHRASE: Whenever you paraphrase, remember these two points: 1. You must provide a reference. 2. The paraphrase must be entirely in your own words. You must do more than merely substitute phrases here and there. You must also completely alter the sentence structure. It can be difficult to find new words for an idea that is already well expressed. The following strategy will make the job of paraphrasing a lot easier: 1. When you are at the note-taking stage, and you come across a passage that may be useful for your essay, do not copy the passage verbatim unless you think you will want to quote it. 2 This section on paraphrasing & summarizing was written by Jerry Plotnick, Director of the University College Writing Centre, University of Toronto.

7 2. If you think you will want to paraphrase the passage, make a note only of the author's basic point. You don't even need to use full sentences. 3. In your note, you should already be translating the language of the original into your own words. What matters is that you capture the original idea. 4. Make sure to include the page number of the original passage so that you can make a proper reference later on. When it comes time to write the paper, rely on your notes rather than on the author's work. You will find it much easier to avoid borrowing from the original passage because you will not have recently seen it. Follow this simple sequence: 1. Convert the ideas from your notes into full sentences. 2. Provide a reference. 3. Go back to the original to ensure that (a) your paraphrase is accurate and (b) you have truly said things in your own words. Let's look at examples of illegitimate and legitimate paraphrase. The original passage is from Oliver Sacks' essay "An Anthropologist on Mars": The cause of autism has also been a matter of dispute. Its incidence is about one in a thousand, and it occurs throughout the world, its features remarkably consistent even in extremely different cultures. It is often not recognized in the first year of life, but tends to become obvious in the second or third year. Though Asperger regarded it as a biological defect of affective contact innate, inborn, analogous to a physical or intellectual defect Kanner tended to view it as a psychogenic disorder, a reflection of bad parenting, and most especially of a chillingly remote, often professional, "refrigerator mother." At this time, autism was often regarded as "defensive" in nature, or confused with childhood schizophrenia. A whole generation of parents mothers, particularly were made to feel guilty for the autism of their children. What follows is an example of illegitimate paraphrase: The cause of the condition autism has been disputed. It occurs in approximately one in a thousand children, and it exists in all parts of the world, its characteristics strikingly similar in vastly differing cultures. The condition is often not noticeable in the child's first year, yet it becomes more apparent as the child reaches the ages of two or three. Although Asperger saw the condition as a biological defect of the emotions that was inborn and therefore similar to a physical defect, Kanner saw it as psychological in origin, as reflecting poor parenting and particularly a frigidly distant mother. During this period, autism was often seen as a defense mechanism, or it was misdiagnosed as childhood schizophrenia. An entire generation of mothers and fathers (but especially

8 mothers) were made to feel responsible for their offspring's autism (Sacks ). Most of these sentences do little more than substitute one phrase for another. An additional problem with this passage is that the only citation occurs at the very end of the last sentence in the paragraph. The reader might be misled into thinking that the earlier sentences were not also indebted to Sacks' essay. The following represents a legitimate paraphrase of the original passage: In "An Anthropologist on Mars," Sacks lists some of the known facts about autism. We know, for example, that the condition occurs in roughly one out of every thousand children. We also know that the characteristics of autism do not vary from one culture to the next. And we know that the condition is difficult to diagnose until the child has entered its second or third year of life. As Sacks points out, often a child who goes on to develop autism will still appear perfectly normal at the age of one (247). Notice that this passage makes explicit right from the beginning that the ideas belong to Sacks, and the passage's indebtedness to him is signaled in more than one place. The single parenthetical note at the end of each paragraph is therefore all the citation that is needed. The inclusion of explicit references to Sacks not only makes the job of providing citations easier. It also strengthens the passage by clarifying the source of its facts and ideas. And it adds an analytical dimension to the paragraph: the passage doesn't just reiterate the points in Sacks' passage but lays out the structure of his argument. Note that the paraphrase splits the original into two separate paragraphs to accentuate the two-part structure of Sacks' argument. Finally, notice that not all the details from the original passage are included in the paraphrase. II. HOW TO SUMMARIZE: Summary moves much farther than paraphrase away from point-by-point translation. When you summarize a passage, you need first to absorb the meaning of the passage and then to capture in your own words the most important elements from the original passage. A summary is necessarily shorter than a paraphrase. Here is a summary of the passage from "An Anthropologist on Mars": In "An Anthropologist on Mars," Sacks notes that although there is little disagreement on the chief characteristics of autism, researchers have differed considerably on its causes. As he points out, Asperger saw the condition as an innate defect in the child's ability to connect with the external world, whereas Kanner regarded it as a consequence of harmful childrearing practices (247-48).

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