Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)
After you have introduced a quote by incorporating it into your essay’s body paragraph, then follow up with end-of-the-quote information. The citation information at the end of the quoted text is the next thing on a list of to-do’s. It follows immediately after the previous thing you have just done, which is quote from a source.
Visualize yourself in a line of people at the Department of Motor Vehicles. All of you are waiting to register for your driver’s licenses. You are in the middle of the line. There are people in front of you and there are people behind you. To be sure, there is one person particularly in front of you; and there is one person particularly behind you, or at the back of you.
Once the administrative staff member has finished helping the person in front you he or she immediately says, “Next.” Since you are the next person in line you go up to the front desk; but what if the person decides not to say “Next?” What happens to you standing there in the line?
For one, your presence is not acknowledged. Two, you are not permitted to move forward. Three, everything stands still. You don’t move and the people behind you can’t move. Likewise, after you have finished introducing your quote, you must follow up by introducing also two types of information: 1) location-of-source information and 2) location-of-punctuation information. You cannot move forward to other areas within your analysis until you meet the requirements that govern citing a source.
There is only one type of location-of-source information: the citation.
Depending upon the style manual you use, the citation information at the end of quoted text is important to the reader who needs to verify the difference between your sentences and those of the quotation.
This information is also vital for professors, because they use the author, title of the work, and page number to rule out plagiarism or, in some cases, prove that you have plagiarized a work within your paper. Therefore, providing the source information is the next to the last thing you must do after the ending quotation marks. The last thing you must do before moving forward in your paper involves assigning the appropriate punctuation mark(s).
There are two types of location-of-punctuation information. Both types refer to material quoted in-text. One type of information is in-text quoted material, which is under four lines of quoted text or is exactly four lines. You may quote the material within any body paragraph of your essay. You must place quotation marks before and after the quoted material.
You may either use your own sentence before the quoted material or depending upon how you have framed the other sentences within any of your body paragraphs, you may only just have to begin with the quoted material, affixing quotation marks at the beginning and end. This type of quoted material conforms to normal grammar standards, meaning that the period, as an ending punctuation mark, is placed after the closing parenthesis, not before it.
In “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois states that “it is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” ().
These are the qualities of this quote.
1) The quote is exactly four lines.
2) This is the beginning of a body paragraph within a student’s essay.
3) These four lines of text are enclosed within quotation marks.
4) The quote is preceded by a group of phrases that do not represent a complete sentence. A group of phrases is typically only needed to incorporate a quote. Sometimes you don’t need any phrases, but the sentence, your phrases and the quote itself, must be a grammatical sentence, as a result.
5) The punctuation mark (period) follows after the closing parenthesis.
If the total sentence, the introductory phrases, and the quote enclosed within quotation marks, forms a question, then the question mark is placed inside the quotation marks. The quotation marks are followed by the parentheses and an ending period.
If citation information is not presented in the incorporation of the quote, then the ending punctuation mark (period) is placed before the closing quotation marks.
The second type of in-text quoted material is over four lines of quoted text. The material is a part of a body paragraph, but it is also separated (set off) from the body paragraph of your essay. There are no quotation marks at the beginning or at the end of the quoted material. Before incorporating the quoted material, as set off from the body paragraph, you may either use your own sentence before the quoted material or depending upon how you have framed the other sentences, you may only just have to begin with the quoted material. Just remember this: Be careful not to mix your sentence with the quote itself.
Review your style manual for exceptions concerning punctuation marks (i.e., question mark) that go before or after quotation marks.
Keep in mind one thing: Do not place quotation marks before or after quoted material separated (set off) from a body paragraph. This type of quoted material does not conform to normal grammar standards, meaning that the period, as an ending punctuation mark, is placed before the parentheses that house the citation information (i.e., author and page number). With this in mind, you should never place an ending sentence punctuation mark after the parentheses of set off quoted material.
In “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois states about the nineteenth-century Negro,
After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. ( )
These are the qualities of this quote.
1) The quote is over four lines. The material is a part of the body paragraph but it is also separated from the main body paragraph. This is the beginning of a body paragraph within a student’s essay.
2) These lines of text are not enclosed within quotation marks.
3) The quote is preceded by a group of phrases that do not represent a complete sentence. A group of phrases is typically only needed to incorporate a quote. Sometimes you don’t need any phrases, but the sentence, your phrases and the quote itself, must be a grammatical sentence, as a result.
4) The punctuation mark (period) precedes the information enclosed within the parentheses. The punctuation mark never goes after the parentheses.
For ane extended explanation of this section of “Introduce the Quote,” see also the comment “Inaccurate.”
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