When to use a quotation?

A quotation is a text passage that you copy verbatim from the source. 

You use a quotation:

  • when reproducing an exact definition;
  • when an author has said something memorably or succinctly,
  • when you want to respond to exact wording. 

Rules for quotation

 

  • The quotation is followed by a reference in parentheses that lists the last name of the author(s), the year, and page number(s);
  • Page numbers are indicated by the abbreviation 'p.' (page). If a quotation (in the original text) runs to the next page, 'pp.' (pages) is used:

 

 "Sometimes the goal is the opposite of the problem. Someone who suffers from a problem (too many customer complaints) will want to achieve a goal (higher customer satisfaction)" (Moussault, 2018, pp. 25-26).

 

  • A quote is not in italics and the text may not be changed;
  • If a section of text within the quote is irrelevant, it may be omitted. In place of the omitted portion, place the inhibition sign (three dots) with a space between the dots:
"Theoretical research is designed to draw on the wisdom and insights of others . . . Usually your theoretical framework consists of three to seven paragraphs, but for long theses more is possible" (Siljee, 2019, p. 96).

 

  • An error in a quotation can be indicated by specifying [sic] immediately after the error;

  • You are allowed to make a lower case out of a capital letter if the quote is not at the beginning of a sentence. 

 

Short quotation (less than 40 words)

A quote of less than 40 words is enclosed in "quotation marks" in the running text.

  • When the author(s) are named in the text, they do not need to be listed again in parentheses.
According to Fischer and Julsing (2019), a random sample is "the random drawing of a sample from a file" (p. 144).

 

  • If you do not mention the author leading up to the citation, place the author's name and the year and page number(s) in parentheses.

Previous research indicated the following: "insecurely attached children are more likely to attach firmly to parents or caregivers, or behave indifferently or distantly" (Mitchell & De Klein, 2014, p. 32).

 

Block quotation (40 words or more)

A quote of 40 words or more is displayed in a stand-alone, indented block, without quotation marks. Above and below the block quote will be a blank line.

  • Author in the running text:

Luyendijk (2015, p. 18) says of the British banking world:

 

I went for a walk and immediately noticed that 'the City' is no longer a good term. The financial sector in London employs between 250,000 and 350,000 people. That's a lot of jobs, and they have started to clump together in more than one place.

 

In our research ....

 

  • Author in parentheses:

In This Can't Be True it says about this:

 

I went for a walk and immediately noticed that "the City" is no longer a good term. The financial sector in London employs between 250,000 and 350,000 people. That's a lot of jobs, and they have started to clump together in more than one place. (Luyendijk, 2015, p. 18)

 

In our research ....

 

Note: In the second example, in the text the title of the book is given in italics. The dot comes before the source reference here because the reference is not a part of the quotation.

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