Turabian is a commonly used citation style, also called Chicago or Chicago-Turabian. For this reason, it is good to know the basics of how to integrate quotations into your text in this style. It can be a little tricky, but with a little consideration and one major rule of thumb, quoting in Turabian can be simplified to only a few steps.
Consider if you should quote or paraphrase the passage in question. You should only quote directly if the specific words or phrase back up your reasons, you disagree and wish to dissect the passage accurately, it is a quote from a recognized authority or the quote will frame your overall discussion.
Determine the length of your quotation. The best way to do this is to directly type the quotation into your work to see how many lines it takes up. Four lines or less, go to step three. Five or more, skip to step four.
Include any quote that is four lines or less in a paragraph by connecting it directly to a sentence. Do not simply quote it as a stand-alone sentence. One simple way is to introduce the quote using the name of the author. Example: William Shakespeare writes, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”
Block quote any quotation of more than five sentences. Block quoting is done by creating a new paragraph and indenting the entire paragraph the same distance as a regular TAB, or five spaces. The first line is not indented, though if you quote more than one paragraph, you will need to indent the first line of the second paragraph and any subsequent paragraphs. This means for a second paragraph, the first word will actually be ten spaces from your margin. Remember, when completing a block quote and moving back to your own paragraph, you do not need to indent the line as you are returning to the paragraph you introduced prior to your block quote. Also, block quotes do not have quotation marks, unless there are quotation marks within the quote for something such as dialogue.
Tips & Warnings
- Familiarize yourself with indenting in your word processing program. For example, in Word 2007 indention can be accessed through the paragraph tab and you can block quote by typing in your information, highlighting and then clicking the increase indent button. This makes the action of block quoting an entire paragraph or several paragraphs much simpler.
- When introducing your quotes, use variety. If all of your quotes are introduced in the same fashion, your work becomes a labor to read.
- Quotes should only be used if they will help to clarify or support a point. They are not a point on their own. It is best to use direct quotation only when absolutely necessary. If you are unsure, go back to step one and consider why you are quoting that passage. If your quote does not fit one of the criteria from step one, paraphrase or leave it out completely.
- Always verify your quotes from the original text if possible.
- Never quote passages simply to add length to your paper; this technique becomes obvious quickly.
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