Essay Using Quotes

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Familiarize yourself with the various verbs commonly used to introduce quotations.

Here is a partial list: Each verb has its own nuance. Vary the way you introduce quotations to avoid sounding monotonous.

Make sure that the nuance matches your specific aims in introducing the quotation. Here are three common phrasings: In the words of ‘s view, . But never sacrifice precision of phrasing for the sake of variety.

Visit the U of T Writing Website’s page on verbs for referring to sources.

The following offers just one way of introducing the above quotation: The ancient Greeks never saw a need to justify wars that were waged outside the walls of the city state.

Essay Using Quotes

As Hannah Arendt points out in , “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” (12).When you introduce a quotation with an incomplete sentence, you usually place a comma after the introductory phrase.However, it has become grammatically acceptable to use a colon rather than a comma: Arendt writes: “we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war . .” If you are blending the quotation into your own sentence using the conjuction , do not use any punctuation at all: Arendt writes that “we must turn to Roman antiquity to find the first justification of war . .” If you are not sure whether to punctuate your introduction to a quotation, mentally remove the quotation marks, and ask yourself whether any punctuation is still required.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.Moreover, the technique of weaving can help you to produce a tighter argument.The following condenses twelve lines from Arendt’s essay to fewer than two: What Arendt refers to as the “well-known realities of power politics” began to lose their moral legitimacy when the First World War unleashed “the horribly destructive” forces of warfare “under conditions of modern technology” (13). If you include too much quotation in your essay, you will crowd out your own ideas.Consider quoting a passage from one of your sources if any of the following conditions holds: Condition 3 is especially useful in essays for literature courses.But if your analysis is lengthy, you may want to break it into several paragraphs, beginning afresh after the quotation.Once in a while you can reverse the pattern of quotation followed by analysis.

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