When used correctly, quotations are a great way to add authority to your paper. Follow these rules to make sure you get it right…
1. Quote only the part of the sentence that you need. It should be part of your sentence, not freestanding.
Examples: 1. Robert Hutchins, former President of the University of Chicago, asserts that, “a college should not be interested in a full back who is a half-wit.” OR 2. “These gentry,” asserts Robert Hutchins, “often overlook the fact that colleges should not be interested in a full back who is a half-wit.”
2. Use ellipses when you are omitting part of a sentence or paragraph.
Example: Omitting part of the sentence
“To read well…is a noble exercise,” writes Henry David Thoreau in Walden.
3. Use brackets when you need to add or substitute words.
Say you’re taking a sentence from the middle of a paragraph where the writer uses the pronoun “she” to describe Cinderella. You’d need to fix this so your audience knows to whom the “she” is referring.
Jane Yolden believes that, in the Golden Press version, “[Cinderella] is a sorry excuse for a heroine, pitiful and useless.”