Using direct quotes in a research paper

Primarily, it is important to know how to cite a direct quote. Somewhere in the sentence, either preceding or following the quote, you must cite the authors who originally made the statement you are quoting. Then, after the quote is used, you must cite the page number where the statement appears within the source you cited, per APA guidelines. If there is no pagination for the work you are citing, be sure to cite the paragraph number the quote is from instead. This would look like: Author and Author (year) stated, “Direct quote” (p. ); or  “Direct quote” (Author & Author, year, p. ). However, if the quote you are using is longer than 40 words, you would forego the quotations marks, and instead indent the entire quoted statement, which is called a block quote . If you are using a block quote, the citation or the page number would be placed in parentheses after the last punctuation mark of the quote, rather than before it as with non-block quotes.

Dividing the quote may highlight a particular nuance of the quote’s meaning. In the first example, the division calls attention to the two parts of Hamlet’s claim. The first phrase states that nothing is inherently good or bad; the second phrase suggests that our perspective causes things to become good or bad. In the second example, the isolation of “Death thou shalt die” at the end of the sentence draws a reader’s attention to that phrase in particular. As you decide whether or not you want to break up a quote, you should consider the shift in emphasis that the division might create.

When you integrate quotations in this way, you do not use any special punctuation. Instead, you should punctuate the sentence just as you would if all of the words were your own. No punctuation is needed in the sentences above in part because the sentences do not follow the pattern explained under number 1 and 2 above: there is not a complete sentence in front of the quotations, and a word such as "says," "said," or "asks" does not appear directly in front of the quoted words.

Using direct quotes in a research paper

using direct quotes in a research paper


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