How To Select Quotes For An Essay

Quotations are the common way to provide other person’s perspective in your paper. Quotes in a college essay are used to provide an argument, support your idea or counter an existing opinion. The number of quotes and their nature hugely depends on the type of assignment you are working with and the formatting style. This article will help you to select quotes logically and to include them in your paper proper way to get the best grade.

If you are wondering how to select quotes for an essay, you need to start with the topic, subject and the type of paper you are working with. First of all, it is important to remember that your paper should mainly consider your perspective and thoughts, so you shouldn’t turn it to a list of quotations. The quote you use must be relevant and have a strong point that you are going to address.

Start selecting quotes for essay writing when working with sources. There are primary and secondary sources. The primary ones are the original works, texts, and evidence provided by witnesses of an issue. When working on a literature essay, your primary source will be the book, poem or text you are analyzing. The secondary sources are papers that address the issue from a critical perspective. It is better to use direct quotations when it comes to primary sources and indirect ones when you are working with the secondary ones.  Pick and choose quotes that are most representative of an idea and have a valuable message.

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How to Add Quote in Essay in APA Style

APA style is most commonly used for sociological and behavioral sciences, so when working with it, it is important to know how to include a quote in an essay. It depends on the way you include it, whether it is a direct or indirect citation, whether you include an author’s name in narration or use multiple sources for one idea illustration.

It might seem a bit complicated, however, there are strict rules in this regard, and when you know them, it is easy to follow. Citations in APA paper are regulated by the general idea of focusing on the author’s name, year of publication and the page number.

There are several rules you need to follow:

  1. Each citation you choose to include should have a reference in a bibliography.
  2. For direct quotation use author’s last name, year of publication and the page number.
  3. When using essay quotes from digital sources use the number of the paragraph instead for the page number.
  4. When paraphrasing author’s words, use his last name and the year of publication.
  5. When including author’s name as part of the narration, put the year of publication right after it in brackets.

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Example of Using Quote in Essay

Here are several examples on how to write a quote in an essay in APA style:

  • Direct quote:

The recent study showed that “generally children from divorced parents have troubles in academic performance in early ages” (Boyle, 2017, p. 76)

  • Indirect quote:

The connection between parents divorce and academic performance at early ages has been stated recently (Boyle, 2017).

  • Author’s name in narration and indirect citation:

Boyle (2017) has found that academic performance at early years is affected by the parent’s divorce.

  • Author’s name in narration and direct citation:

Boyle (2017) has found that “generally children from divorced parents have troubles in academic performance in early ages” (P.76).

Choose the quote example that is suitable for your needs, as all of them are equally important.

 How Many Quotes Should Be In an Essay

Basically, there are no limitations, but you need to be careful about the number of quotes. It depends not only from your college expectations but also from a subject. For example, if you are working on a literature essay, then you need to choose quote for every aspect you address. If you are analyzing narration, it is better to illustrate what you are talking about with references from a primary source.

Why can there be too many quotes? Well, if there are only quotes than it is not an original paper that shows your writing and analytical skills. The main goal is to illustrate your perspective. An essay free of plagiarism has a selective relationship with citations.

Any statement that can be questioned should be referenced. For example, if you write the dates of WWII, there is no questioning about it, and there is no need for a reference. However, if you state that “American society expected WWII to finish quickly” you need to put a reference for that sentence as to show where it comes from. It doesn’t always have to be a quotation; it can be a reference to a source.

How to Remember Quotes for An Essay

When working on a research or reading the source, mark the quote you select. Underline the statement; after you are done with sources, it will be easier to find all the notes. Probably, not all of them will be included in a paper, but it is better to have them marked.

Don’t try to remember all the citations you find essential for your work, write them down in a list to review after you’ve done with research. There are all different types of quotations, so figure out which should be direct, indirect, paraphrased or just referenced.

It is also important to surround the quotation with your own interpretation and connection to the general issue of a paper. Do not put it as a first or last sentence of a paragraph and always make sure you’ve addressed its meaning.

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When selecting citations, remember to choose the essential ones of the primary sources and address why they are important for your paper. If you need any help with writing, formatting or editing, you can use our professional writing services for any type of college assignment. Our qualified writers are ready for any challenge!

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Prof Miriam holds a Master’s Degree in Education Arts from Stanford University. She is a competent writer with five years experience in online academic writing. Over the years, she has gained enough expertise in fields such as Business, Medicine, Psychology, Engineering, Communication, and Philosophy, among other areas of specialization.


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