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Academic Honesty

Using Quotations

Quotations are used to support your positions and ideas, not as a replacement for them. When your own words only function as connectors or links between the quotations of other authors, you likely have a very poor paper.

Some quotation guidelines:

  • Be careful when choosing how many and which quotations to include in your academic writing, especially research-based writing.
  • Capturing the key ideas or phrases of another author often only needs a partial quotation. Integrating a partial quote into a sentence of your own often requires signal phrases
  • Don't quote common knowledge or ordinary opinions.
  • Don't use a quote as your topic sentence or thesis statement.
  • Do quote when your source uses unusual, noteworthy, or striking language.
  • Be careful when incorporating a short quote into your own writing that the resulting sentence is grammatically correct and the resulting thought is complete.

The conventions of integrating and citing quotes are often style specific. The following links provide guidance:

Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide - In-Text Citations

                      MLA Formatting and Style Guide - In-Text Citations

Scientists using CSE documentation style prefer paraphrasing their sources rather than using direct quotes. For guidance go to the University of Wisconsin at Madison's Writer's Handbook.