How to Correctly Add Quotes

Quotes, which are properly known as quotation marks, are used in a variety of situations. Adding quotes to a paper or written document makes the document more credible by showing where the information comes from. There are proper and improper ways to add quotes to a document. For example, quotes are used properly by putting quotation marks around words that are taken from a source. They are used improperly when the words in the quotation marks are not taken from another source.

Step 1

Determine which format is used in the document. There are two basic formats for writing: MLA format or APA format. MLA format, or Modern Language Association format, is the most common format used in writing and is the format typically taught in English classes. APA format, or American Psychological Association format, is less common and is typically used for psychological, mental health and scientific writing.

Step 2

Lead up to the quote. Never quote without an introduction to the quote. An introduction to a quote varies widely, from explaining the quote to a simple, she said, but there is always an introductory phrase.

Step 3

Put quotation marks around the quoted word, words or phrases. Quotation marks are used only for exact duplication and not for paraphrasing. A paraphrase takes the idea, but does not use exact wording. A paraphrase still states where the information came from, but it does not require quotes. Quotation marks are placed around exact duplication. If a single notable word is duplicated, put quotes around the word only. If a full sentence is copied, the quotation marks go around the entire sentence.

Step 4

Place citations by the quotes. There are two basic ways to place the citations: Either by putting the citation in the text or adding a footnote after the quote. In text citations, give the information about the source during the lead-in to the quote. For example, put 'according to John Smith on page four of his journal' before putting the quoted words. When using a footnote citation, the citation will vary slightly. Place the quoted words in the writing, and then put a parenthesis with the citation. MLA format citations put the author’s name and the page from which the quote was taken. APA format citations put the author’s name and the date of the publication, instead.

Step 5

Add a Bibliography or Works Cited page after the paper. Citations for the quotes in the document are abbreviated citations of the work, but any document or paper requires adding full information on the Bibliography or Works Cited page.