quote something, the quotation should become a part of your own
sentence--without any seams. Here are some tips for quoting smoothly and
1. One strategy is to set up the quotation with a sentence of your own,
ending that sentence with a colon, followed by the quotation.
George knows that Lennie did not intend to kill Curly's wife. He pleads with
the other men not to seek revenge: "The poor bastard's nuts. Don't shoot
'im." (Steinbeck 1451).
2. You can
also precede a quotation with a word like "explains," "illustrates," or
"continues"--followed by a comma. ("Says" is ambiguous.)
In Frost's 'Mending Wall,' the neighbor asserts, "Good fences make good
neighbors" (line 45).
3. You can
make a quotation part of your own sentence.
George promises Lennie that they will "have a couple of acres and live off
the fatta the land" (Steinbeck 1412).
canít just throw a quotation into your sentence if it makes the grammar
incorrect. For example, you should NOT write this:
Mrs. Macomber tells Wilson that she wants "to see you perform again"
you have at least 3 choices:
Mrs. Macomber tells Wilson, "I want so to see you perform again"
Mrs. Macomber tells Wilson that she wants "to see
[him] perform again" (Hemingway 1351).
Mrs. Macomber tells Wilson how impressed she is with his hunting: "I want so
to see you perform again" (Hemingway 1351).
make the grammar correct, you will often need to change some parts of
speech--like verb tenses or pronouns. Put brackets
[ ] around
anything you alter. More examples:
Frost's horseman admires the snowfall but presses on because he has
"miles to go before [he]
(The text reads, "miles to go before
can omit some words in a quotation by using
ellipses. Again, BE
SURE you do not change the meaning!
Edna symbolically rejects society's restrictions when she "cast[s]
the unpleasant, pricking garments from her, and
. . . [stands] naked in the open air" (Chopin 310).
(The text reads, ". . . she
cast the unpleasant,
pricking garments from her, and
for the first time in her
life she stood naked in the open air . . . ")
you are quoting something that is in quotes in the text, use single
quotation marks to indicate the original ones. Use double ones around your
own quotation, as usual.
For Macomber, the buffalo hunt is a rebirth: "Macomber's face was shining.
'You know something
did happen to me,' he
said. 'I feel
citations above come from McMichael's Anthology
of American Literature, 3rd edition.)