How to Quote From a Passage

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To quote from a passage, use quotation marks around the text, attribute the quote to the source and set up a context for the quote. Avoid using large blocks of quotes in a written assignment with advice from a former classroom instructor in this free video on writing.

Part of the Video Series: Education: Teaching & Writing
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Laura from and I'm going to talk about how to quote from a passage. There are a few things to remember when you are using a quote and one of them is to set it up with some context so you wouldn't just put quotation marks around someone's statement without saying who said it and what was the context. For example John Adams wrote in a letter to Thomas Jefferson in the months leading up to the writing of The Declaration of Independence and then enclose the quote in quotation marks and then include the entire quote. So you are always going to provide some context for the quote. You also want to make sure that you are attributing it to the source so again you explain that it was John Adams that said this and the context to which he said it. Make sure to include a coherent statement because quotes can actually be misinterpreted if you take just a portion of it that contradicts the actual meaning of it so be careful about missed quotations. That happens fairly frequently with historical quotations so be sure to include it in the proper context. Then be sure to use large block quotes sparingly so don't go on and on for paragraphs with a quote in your writing because that ends up being very hard for the reader to follow and a little bit jarring to read such a long segment within another piece of writing. So those are some basic ideas to keep in mind when using a quote in a passage.


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