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Using Direct Quotes

How to use evidence from a text using MLA


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Why do you use quotes?


DIRECT QUOTES ARE EVIDENCE!
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To prove that your ideas are correct To illustrate your point of view To demonstrate how you arrive at an original idea

Standard Rules
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Do NOT start a paragraph with a direct quote (that s what a topic sentence is for) Quotations can NEVER stand by themselves. They must be INTRODUCED AND EXPLAINED.

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Punctuation
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QUOTATION MARKS ( ) go at the beginning and end of a direct quote.


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A direct quote is the exact words of a writer or speaker. COPY ALL THREE BULLETS UNDER PUNCTUATION of EXCERPTS with Dialogue page 269 in the Language Network

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Citations
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A citation is citing where you found the information (direct quote or summary). Your citation belongs in parenthesis. It goes after the end quotation mark BUT BEFORE the final punctuation.
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Example: The girl giggled as she whispered, I like cheese (45). When you use a citation in a research essay, you include the author s last name, too (Per MLA Format). Example: The girl giggled as she whispered, I like cheese (Applegate 45).

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How to incorporate quotes

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Remember, a quote should never appear in a sentence by itself because there is no context for the quote. BUT... BUT... How do I do that?

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USE A SIGNAL PHRASE.

3 Ways to Introduce a Direct Quote


You CAN do it!

3 Ways to use a Signal Phrase


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1. Writing a complete sentence followed by a colon then a quote EXAMPLE: Clarisse is not like other kids her age by being observant of the world around her: I like to watch people. Sometimes I ride the subway all day and look at them and listen to them (34).

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3 Ways to use a Signal Phrase


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2. Writing an incomplete sentence, followed by a comma and then the quote. EXAMPLE: Guy Montag asked, Wasn t there an old joke about the wife who talked so much on the telephone that her desperate husband ran out to the nearest store and telephoned her to ask what was for dinner? (47). NOTE: The narrator asks the question, so the ? goes inside the quotation marks. (BULLET #1 page 269)

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3 Ways to use a Signal Phrase


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3. Writing a statement that ends in that or signal phrase and then the quote. Captain Beatty s nonchalant attitude towards education and novels is clear when the narrator observes that classics [were] cut to 15 minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a 2 minute book column (58).

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Signal Phrases
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adds admits agrees argues asserts believes claims comments

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compares demonstrates denies emphasizes illustrates implies insists notes

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observes points out reasons says states suggests thinks writes