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(Almost all of the examples in this handout follow the Modern Languages Association, or MLA, system of citation, which is widely used in the humanities and in those social sciences with a less quantitative approach.) Visit our handout on paraphrase and summary.
If your quotation is longer than four lines, do not place it in quotation marks.
Instead, set it off as a block quotation: The truth is that Dickens' criticism of society is almost exclusively moral.
Don't just parachute quotations into your essay without providing at least some indication of who your source is.
Letting your reader know exactly which authorities you rely on is an advantage: it shows that you have done your research and that you are well acquainted with the literature on your topic.
In the following passage, the parenthetical reference to the author does not adequately identify the source: 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 unjust wars" (Arendt 12).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.Finally, note that you can deviate from the common pattern of introduction followed by quotation.Weaving the phrases of others into your own prose offers a stylistically compelling way of maintaining control over your source material.He received his Ph D in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014.There are 22 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.You should indent the first line of each paragraph an extra quarter inch.Then, use ellipses (…) at the end of one paragraph to transition to the next.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. 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.