How to Introduce Quotations

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Introduce quotations by referencing the speaker or giving a brief description of the speaker before or after the quotation. Check the proper punctuation for quotations and format for footnotes with advice from a writing instructor in this free video on writing.

Part of the Video Series: Writing & Education
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Laura from, and I'm going to talk about how to introduce quotations. This depends a lot on the format that you're writing in. If you're doing a newspaper story or a magazine story, you'll often say "according to experts, or "according to recent research," and then make your point. And then start with the quote and then follow with the quotation, so it might be, you know: "whales are our most valuable resource," comma, "according to researcher so and so." So that's one way to introduce it. Another way is to give a little bit of a description about the speaker before the quotation. So you might say: "the head of the federal reserve, Alan Greenspan, has said," and then the quotation, that you want to use to illustrate your point could follow. Be sure to always use quotation marks. And in some types of writing you'll also need a footnote, which is just a superscript number next to the quotation. And then, either in the bottom, in the footer of the page, or possibly in the endnote section you'll give the full citation. Depending on what format you're writing these do vary. So you'll want to check into the proper format for footnotes or endnotes. So again, introduce your speaker either before; give the attribution either before or after the quote. Be aware of using the quotation marks properly, and also other punctuation such as commas or the ending punctuation for the sentence. And find the proper format for your footnote or endnote. Those are some ideas about how to introduce quotations.


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