How to Use Quotations and Paraphrases in Writing an Assignment

One basic job of a writer is to guide their reader in reading your written text. So do not paste quotations and leave it on the reader to make a connection to your topic with a placed quotation. Ingredients of quotation involve usually two elements;

  • Signal your reader that a quotation is going to be related to the topic that is cited with the name of author of the quotation
  • Declaration/assertion of the relationship between the text and the quotation

Most of the time both elements of quotation placement appear in a single statement of introduction as stated in the below example;


Peng (2004, p.99) has discussed (signal) that identified research question must reflect a clear relationship between (assertion) variables and aim of research that is described in above research question that shows the appropriateness of the statement.


Before or after assertion signal comes with a connecting word;


So the research question is meant to describe the relationship between these two variables as (signal)Salkind& Rainwater (2003, p.44) has elaborated the research statement (assertion) as the declarative statement instead of the clear description of intent and interest of research.

Formatting of Quotations

Short Direct Quotations: These are short quotation quoted directly means without even paraphrasing in inverted commas i.e.


According to William Shakespeare “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. Open, locks, whoever knocks!”


 Longer Direct Quotations

Different referencing styles have different word length for direct quotations to state them as the long or short for instance APA referencing style assignment has defined 40 words or more as the long direct quotation. So in this style, you do not need to put quotation marks but need to paraphrase the text as it can affect the level of plagiarism in your text if you are going to put into your text without paraphrasing.

Lengthy Quotation of Poetry

For lengthy poetry quotation like a quotation more than of three lines you want to integrate into your sentence then it should be indented as;

In Julius Caesar, Antony begins his famous speech with “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears; / I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” (III.ii.75-76).

Indicating Changes

If you are going to omit a word or a phrase from a long quotation then you need to use ellipsis points (…) that needs to be used within the quotation, not in start or end of the quotation. Putting ellipsis points at start or end of the quotation may miss-interpret the whole quotation but within the quotation, the reader will probably make the actual sense. Further, for adding clarification, corrections and comments use square brackets within the quotation instead of using parenthesis that is usually used for an in-text citation for an in a direct quote. This correction or comment is used to tell your reader that the mistake in the quotation is not by you but by the author of quotation and comment in square bracket is showing the correct meaning of that mistaken word.

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