3.1 Quoting

Quoting means replicating part of a source word for word in your assignment.

How many quotations can I use in an assignment?

The number of quotations expected varies in different disciplines and types of assignments. For example, in an English literature paper, direct quotations from a novel or play are often used as the basis for a discussion, while in a business proposal, direct quotations are rare, or not accepted at all.

Quotations are often the material evidence you’ll use to support claims. The substance of your assignment, however, is the thorough and detailed discussion, explanation, or analysis of the quotations. Make sure that you’ve not introduced more material than you can explain — your reader should understand why the quotations appear.

Quotations should be used purposefully because otherwise quoting can sometimes give the impression that you don’t understand a source enough to put it in your own words and that you may not have any thoughts on the topic. If you aren’t sure whether you should use direct quotations in a specific assignment, ask your instructor.

Some Good Reasons to Quote

  • To present something you are analyzing, interpreting, or commenting on so the reader will understand better what you are referring to (such as a literary passage)
  • If the original language is especially moving, descriptive, or historically significant
  • For unique terms or a passage that cannot be paraphrased or summarized adequately without losing or changing the meaning

Source: (The Writing Center, n.d.)


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Academic Integrity Handbook by Donnie Calabrese; Emma Russell; Jasmine Hoover; and Tammy Byrne is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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