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Write Clearly: Using Quotations in Your Essay

1. Be selective

Quote only the text that is necessary to support your point. Avoid overusing block quotations (quotations longer than 4 lines), as these quotations may make it look like you don’t know what’s important.

2. Introduce the speaker

Avoid simply dropping quotations into your text. Provide a lead-in and give the name of the author or title.

3. Explain the significance

It might seem obvious to you why you’ve included a particular quotation, but don’t take any chances. Tell the reader explicitly how the quotation supports your point.

4. Read your paper aloud

Quotations should be integrated so that they read as grammatical sentences.

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