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Putting Quotes in a Paper
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Putting Quotes in a Paper


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A lesson and follow up exercise on inserting quoted passages into an essay.

A lesson and follow up exercise on inserting quoted passages into an essay.

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  • 1. Quotes into a paper I found these passages, now how do I put them into my paper?
  • 2. Using a colon – a dot over a dot :
    • Set up the quote and then present it as proof of what you have just said.
    • That is, say something about the quote and then present it like it’s a video or an object you’re putting on display.
    • It’s a grammatical way of saying, “Here, see for yourself.”
  • 3. Colon example
    • The crew feasted on Helios’ cattle with relish: “Now six full days my gallant crew could feast / upon the prime beef they had marked for slaughter” (929-930).
      • Note that the phrase before the quote could stand on its own as a sentence.
      • We’ll discuss the punctuation in a minute.
  • 4. Using NO punctuation
    • You can mold the author’s words in as if they are your own.
    • In this case, you’ll probably be summarizing or paraphrasing the story and at some point decide that the writer’s words are better than yours.
  • 5. Example of Using NO punctuation before the quote
    • After Odysseus’ men were killed, he was left alone on the sea and began floating “north again, / straight for Charybdis” (965-966).
      • Note that if I took away the quotation marks, the sentence would flow just like I had written it. That’s when you know you don’t need punctuation.
      • Your quotes can be little like this too, as long as they have the information you need.
  • 6. Using commas with quotes
    • You can introduce the quote with an introductory phrase that leads into the author’s phrasing.
    • This phrase cannot stand on its own as a sentence.
    • It will feel like you are writing a piece of dialog for a story.
  • 7. Using commas cont’d
    • You will use a comma after your introductory phrase or at the end of the quotation if it leads into another phrase within the sentence.
  • 8. Examples of commas
    • Before the quote:
      • When Odysseus killed Antinous, the suitors cried out, “Foul! to shoot at a man! That was your last shot!” (1432).
    • At the end of the quote:
      • “ Let me bring you a shield and spear,” offers Telemachos to his battling father (1506).
  • 9. How do you punctuate this?
    • Reference lines in parentheses , but do not write down “p.” or any other abbreviation (56).
    • Periods : Periods go OUTSIDE the quotation marks, “after the line reference” (32).
    • We won’t worry about the line breaks during this unit – we’ll do that during Romeo and Juliet , but you may have seen what I did in the examples above.
  • 10. Practice – punctuate these
    • line 1468
    • With anger in his heart, Odysseus declares to the suitors There will be killing till the score is paid
    • lines 1485-1486
    • Once rallied, the suitors refused to die without a fight Then crying hoarse and loud he hurled himself at Odysseus.
  • 11. Practice – punctuate these
    • lines 1445-1446
    • The suitors then realized Odysseus had returned and sickly green fear pulled at their entrails.
    • Lines 1393-1394
    • Odysseus, the parent who had never been there, finally came through for his son Telemachus, the stranger you welcomed in your hall has not disgraced you.