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How to quote a dialogue answer’s here.

June 7, 2019

It is essential to understand the meaning of quoting dialogue before we learn how to quote dialogue in an essay. As you continue to write your essay, you may wish to refer to what other people said without making any changes to their phrases. The application of quotes comes in handy at this place. You can refer to the statements of other people in two ways. You can either use active or reported speech. Quotation involves the use of direct speech as you are referring to what another person said directly.

How to Quote A Dialogue

Importance of Writing Dialogue in an Essay

Several benefits come with quoting dialogue in your essay. These include:

  • It makes your statement more valid because you are using the words of another person to refer to a point. It is good to have reference in your work as it will help the reader to understand the origin on your arguments and there will be no doubt especially if it is a quote dialogue.
  • Quote dialogue also displays your proficiency in grammar. Most people don’t include quotations in their essays because they need to follow some punctuation rules such as having a comma before quotation. Most students prefer reporting like quoting because they don’t want to mess up with the set guidelines.
  • Quotes make your essay outstanding because the reader will get first-hand information the way it was said. When reporting dialogue, you can omit some words that are crucial in supporting your points. However, when you use quotations, you are sure that you will state everything and hence your essay will have strong points.

It is good to use long quotes as long as you adhere to the set rules. If you don’t know how to quote dialogue, seek for help as this can change the meaning of your work and mess it up. Here are some of the things that you need to put into consideration before moving further.

Tips on How to Quote Dialogue in an Essay

  • Don’t quote all the sections of your essay. Inserting too much quotations in your paper will make it boring to the readers as you will tend to over-rely on the words from other people. It will reduce the originality of your paper and the reader may undermine your creative ability as you are depending on the words of other people.
  • Let your quotes be precise and avoid anything that is not related to the context of your writing. Do an analysis of the quote you wish to use and make sure that the impression that you are bringing out from the dialogue is related to what the essay is talking about.
  • Only quote the words that vividly relate to what you are discussing in the essay. You will not have an organized piece of work if you just quote haphazardly. You may find yourself bringing up another meaning that is completely contrary to what you were saying.
  • Avoid including long quotes in your essay because they can confuse your reader and make him fall off from your essay.

How to Quote Dialogue Example

There are different rubrics and formats for follow when quoting various phrases in your college essay. It all depends with the type and length of dialogue that you are referring. Here are a few illustrations for various quotes:

  • Quoting a Short Paragraph That Has Less Than Four Lines

James insisted on the spying character of Desmond unworthy in the book: “The scholar’s eyes glowed so much on her that Dominic held her over his heart.” (Think wise 88)

  • Quoting a Whole Passage

It will help you to summarize and not write the whole passage. You will refer to the passage using the simplest form of quotation. The use of length quotations in an essay is not a good practice in writing. It is good to make them as short as possible.

Existing Format for Dialogue Quotation

You should learn how to quote dialogue because making an error in the quotation can change the whole meaning of your essay and cause a misunderstanding. The most important thing is the format as it will dictate whether your quotation is right or wrong. You need to follow several rules in the quotation:

  • Use one single quotation inside the above double marks. The case applies if there is a dialogue inside a quote. After using the double quotes at both ends, you may wish to introduce a dialogue of a specific character inside the quote. At this point, you will be expected to use single quotes.

For Instance “The girls stared at their father. Mrs. Rose said, ‘Lazy girls cannot help you to find some work to do!!’”

You may also quote the dialogue by reporting it and then use parenthesis at the end. For Instance You need to think before leaping (Faraday 57).

  • Use block quotes to prove something in your essay. Block quote referencing is where you put the dialogue in indents for each line with no quotation makes.

It is a perfect example on how to quote dialogue between two characters.

It is crucial to go through various how to quote dialogue examples for you to become an expert in quoting dialogue. Exposing you to various samples will benefit you in several ways. These include understanding various dialogue quotes formats like Purdue owl and avoiding spelling and punctuation errors. Punctuation is a crucial element in quotation dialogue as it identifies the various characters in the quote. The use of wrong punctuation can change the whole meaning of your sentence. These examples will help you to gain the skills that you need in your day to day writing. The other thing you need to learn is how to quote dialogue from a play. This guide will help you to learn how to quote dialogue in your essay in the best way possible.

how to quote conversation in an essay

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How to Write Dialogue in an Essay: Usage, Formatting, Punctuation Rules

Updated 11 Mar 2024

From narrative essays , personal reflections, psychology simulation reports and up to English literature writing and scholarships, using dialogue in an essay can dramatically change student’s chances of delivering a successful paper. However, there are specific rules that have to be considered. Many U.S. college students have failed such essays due to not learning how to write dialogue in an essay. Our writing guide provides clear definition, cases of usage, formatting cases with examples, MLA and APA dialogue rules that have to be known. Thankfully, once these rules are mastered, chances of getting low grades are really low! For best grades, consider turning to one of our creative writers at EduBirdie to receive plagiarism free and unique papers.

Essay Dialogue Definition & Purpose

As most might remember from school, dialogue represents special literary device that helps writers to portray a conversation with two or more individuals involved. Dialogue in an essay can be implemented when writing fiction or nonfiction narrative work. As an example, working with (or citing) movies, plays, books or reports, its usage may even become obligatory for greater effect. However, one should not mistake dialogue with academic research necessity to directly quote from journals, books or any other sources.

The most crucial rule isn’t to confuse direct quotes with dialogues, which is a major mistake that most college students do. Main difference lies not only in formatting rules but in purpose. Purpose of dialogue is being a part of particular story, adding creative or emotionally-charged touch. Unlike direct quotes that have purpose of supporting claims made by an author word by word, it differs by primary intention.  

How to Write Dialogue in an Essay

When Dialogue is Used in an Essay and Why

Naturally, cases of dialogue usage differ from paper to paper, yet majority of writing assignments that include dialogue have creative nature. It’s so because narration always tells a story and adds literary devices to support settings, writing style, and imagery. Psychological element of perception is extremely important, therefore, each sentence has to be creative. Dialogue in an essay adds power to imagery by allowing target audience to live through effect of an actual presence and character of people involved.

There can be various dialogue simulations in Business Management, Education or Psychology university assignments that require creative thinking, yet when students have to work with argumentative or persuasive essays, it’s recommended to apply direct quoting instead to make argumentation reliable. Since our claim has to be strong or even supported by a source, citing existing source is correct in such cases.

Likewise, working with expository essays students explain mechanics of certain facts by providing definite facts. General rule with understanding whether dialogue fits in your paper is thinking about importance of direct claims. If no claim has to be made, creative use of conversation is allowed. It helps to relate stories, knowledge, and feeling of belonging to an audience.

For example, when one has to present conversations with friends or work colleagues, writing an argumentative paper, it is recommended to use direct quotes, marking it as "Personal Interview" or "Personal Conversation", when citing. College professors expect students objectivity, correct attitude that shows scientific approach. Turning to dialogue essay is acceptable in narration or when writer has to be reflective.

Approach this task as a report on speech where there’s no need to include all details. Recreating it from one's memory, writer uses dialogue to add depth, emotional background or mood to explain provided story's content. Remember that conversation has to capture reader's attention, explain settings, and be realistic enough.

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How to Format Dialogue in an Essay

The most challenging part is how to format dialogue in an essay, yet with basic rules explained, it will not seem too difficult!

Note: Our writing guide focuses on U.S. English rules of grammar, which means that it’s always better to check twice due to possible differences in your country.

  • Apply double quotation marks when signifying that character uses speech
For example: When I failed college exams, my mother told me, "You should try harder, son."
  • When using quotes in quotes, use single quotation marks
As shown below: "I recall watching Colbert Report episode that said 'Politics and religion do not mix' and feeling amazed," the course instructor said.
  • If conversation extends across more than one paragraph, implement quotation marks right where each paragraph starts. However, closing double quotes can only be implemented when character’s speech reaches its end
See this example: James smiled and said, "It might be difficult at first. If we choose another approach for mediation, we won't be concerned about privacy. Still, third party presence might irritate people like John and Mike. Let's hope it works out."

Another important issue that should be considered by students learning how to put dialogue in an essay relates to correct punctuation. We will use correct and incorrect examples for clearer referencing.

- If your used speech quotation locates at sentence end, always implement full stop. It should be inside inverted commas, as in here:  

Wrong use: His mother exclaimed, "Do your college homework right now, please".

Correct use: An old man commented, "This essay is worth gold."

- Speaking of questions or use of exclamation signs, there’s a rule that states if it’s related to character’s words, they should be placed inside quotation.

Incorrect: Johnny shouted, "This is against the rules"!

Correct: Linda commented, "Sounds right to me!"

- If quote belongs to another greater sentence that represents question or contains an exclamation in it, punctuation marks go beyond speech being marked.

Wrong quotation example: What would you think when professor says, "Have you seen additional grading rubric?"

Proper way: What did you do when your father shouted, "Where is Andrew"?

- If intended speech tag appears before you implement a quote, it is necessary to make it separate, therefore, writers put comma before quotation mark.

Wrong: His sister said, "I'm going to John's graduation tonight."

Correct: Mr. Brown said, "Essay writing online is possible".

- Now if conversation element appears after quotation marks, correct way is to place comma inside replica’s mark. Like this:

"Just make sure my tea is hot", my brother warned me as I went outside.

- Finally, if there is interruption in a phrase, it is necessary to put comma after the first part of used phrase. As explanatory part finishes (who speaks), comma is used once again. See our example:

"Not exactly," Tom said in teary voice, "It's plain wrong to think so."

Read also: To be confident in the explanatory part, read our guide about  how to write an explanatory essay

Now that we know how to quote dialogue in an essay, let us proceed with APA and MLA formatting peculiarities!

Read also: How to Write Dates with Commas Correctly?

Dialogue Formatting in APA and MLA essay formats

MLA formatting:

  • Place dialogue in new paragraph, even if speech is really small.
  • Use commas to separate speech tags.
He said, "Oh, dear! I think we forgot to invite Jamie."
  • If character's speech is more than one paragraph, start every paragraph with inverted commas.
  • Remember that final quotation mark is placed at paragraph's end.
During his graduation, he said, "I did not think that Social Psychology is right for me, but then I started working part-time at our local shelter. It was a time changing experience! "Thanks to my college professors, my parents, everyone who has made it possible today."

How to quote a conversation in an essay APA format:

  • In APA format , if character in speech uses not much text, the same paragraph contains dialogue tags and quotes.
  • Commas are used for dialogue tags separation as well as quoting.
Laura said, "I'm feeling tired. Can you help me with my assignment?"
  • If speech is more than 40 words, inverted commas should be at the beginning of every paragraph, as well as at conversation's end.
During our meeting, he said, "Nothing can be as damaging as working at college assignments few hours before deadline." "No proofreading is done when student is always hurrying up. I recommend online writing services if one absolutely needs professional help and has no time."
  • If your dialogue involves more than two people, each person has his or her own paragraph in essay text.
"Ashley Construction Group. How can I help you?" She said. "Stella? I think John asked you to text him this morning. Could you?" He exclaimed.

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How to Format Dialogue: Complete Guide

Dialogue formatting matters. Whether you’re working on an essay, novel, or any other form of creative writing. Perfectly formatted dialogue makes your work more readable and engaging for the audience.

In this article, you’ll learn the dialogue formatting rules. Also, we’ll share examples of dialogue in essays for you to see the details.

What is a Dialogue Format?

Dialogue format is a writing form authors use to present characters' communication. It's common for play scripts, literature works, and other forms of storytelling.

A good format helps the audience understand who is speaking and what they say. It makes the communication clear and enjoyable. In dialogue writing, we follow the basic grammar rules like punctuation and capitalization. They help us illustrate the speaker’s ideas.

how to quote conversation in an essay

General Rules to Follow When Formatting a Dialogue

Dialogue writing is an essential skill for both professionals and scholars . It shows your ability to express the issues and ideas of other people in different setups. The core rules of formatting are about punctuation. So, below is a quick reminder on punctuation marks’ names:

how to quote conversation in an essay

And now, to practice.

Please follow these rules for proper dialogue formatting:

  •  Use quotation marks. Enclose the speaker’s words in double quotations. It helps readers distinguish between a character’s speech and a narrator’s comments.
  •  Place punctuation inside quotation marks. All punctuation like commas, exclamations, or interrogation marks, go inside the double quotations.
  •  Keep dialogue tags behind quotation marks. A dialogue tag is (1) words framing direct speech to convey the context and emotions of a conversation. For example, in (“I can’t believe this is you,” she replied.), the dialogue tag is “she replied.”
  •  Use an ellipsis or em-dashes for pauses or interruptions. To show interruptions or pauses, end phrases with ellipses inside quotations. Em-dashes go outside quotations. No other extra marks are necessary here.
  •  Remember a character’s voice.  Ensure that each character’s phrases reflect their background and personality.

5 More Rules to Know (+ Examples of Dialogue)

For proper formatting of dialogue in writing, stick to the following rules:

1. Each speaker’s saying comes in a new paragraph

Begin a new paragraph whenever a new character starts speaking. It allows you to differentiate speakers and make their conversation look more organized. (2)

“Has Mr. de Winter been in?” I said.    “Yes, Madam,” said Robert; “he came in just after two, and had a quick lunch, and then went out again. He asked for you and Frith said he thought you must have gone down to see the ship.”    “Did he say when he would be back again?” I asked.    “No, Madam.” — from Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

2. Separate dialogue tags with commas

When using dialogue tags ( e.g., “she said,” “he replied,”), separate them with commas. 

For example:

“You’ve got to do something right now , ” Aaron said , “Mom is really hurting. She says you have to drive her to the hospital.” “Actually, Dad , ” said Caleb, sidling in with his catalog , “There’s someplace you can drive me, too.” “No, Caleb.” — from The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

3. When quoting within dialogue, place single quotes

If a character cites somebody or something while speaking, we call it a reported dialogue. In this case, use single quotations within double ones you place for a direct speech. It will help readers see that it’s a quote.

John started to cry. “When you said, ‘I never wanted to meet you again in my life!’ It hurts my feelings.”

4. You can divide a character’s long speech into paragraphs

Dialogue writing is different when a person speaks for a longer time. It’s fine to divide it into shorter paragraphs. Ensure the proper quotation marks placing:

 The first quotation mark goes at the beginning of the dialogue. Each later paragraph also starts with it until that direct speech ends.

 The second quotation mark — the one “closing” the monologue — goes at the dialogue’s end.

Josphat took a deep breath and began. “ Here’s the things about lions. They’re dangerous creatures. They only know how to kill. Have you ever seen a lion in an open area? Probably not. Because if you had you’d be dead now. “ I saw a lion once. I was fetching firewood to cook lunch. All of a sudden I found myself face to face with a lion. My heart stopped. I knew it was my end on earth. If it wasn’t the poachers we wouldn’t be having this talk. ”

Yet, you can keep a long text as a whole by adding some context with dialogue tags. Like here:

how to quote conversation in an essay

As you can see, there’s no quotation mark at the end of the paragraph in red. It’s because the next “Ha! ha!” paragraph continues the character’s speech.

5. Use action beats

Describe actions to provide context and keep readers engaged. Help them “hear” your characters. Punctuation also helps here: exclamation (!) or interrogation with exclamations (?!) demonstrate the corresponding tone of your narrative.

He slammed the door and shouted , “I can’t believe you did that ! “

Mistakes to Avoid When Formatting Dialogue

A good dialogue is a powerful instrument for a writer to show the character’s nature to the audience. Below are the mistakes to avoid in formatting if you want to reach that goal.

 So, please don’t :

  • Allow characters to speak for too long. Writing long paragraphs will bore the reader, making them skip through your speech. Short but sweet talk is the best. When writing, aim to be brief, dynamic, and purposeful. If your character speaks too much, generating opinion essays , ensure this speech makes sense and serves a bigger purpose.
  • Overburden dialogue with exposition.  Avoid telling the story background or building sophisticated words in your characters’ speeches. Instead, reveal the narrative content in small bursts and blend it around the rest of the prose. Convey it through your character’s actions and thoughts rather than summaries and explanations.
  • Create rhetorical flourishes. Make your characters sound natural. Let them speak the way they’d do if they were real people. Consider their age, profession, and cultural background — and choose lexical items that fit them most.
  • Use repetitive dialogue tags. Constant “he asked” and “she said” sounds monotonous. Diversify your tags: use power verbs, synonyms, and dialogue beats.

Frequently Asked Questions by Students

How to format dialogue in an essay.

Formatting a dialogue in an essay is tricky for most students. Here’s how to do it: Enclose the speaker’s words with double quotations and start every other character’s line from a new paragraph. Stick to the citation styles like APA or MLA to ensure credibility. 

How to format dialogue in a novel?

 A dialogue in a novel follows all the standard rules for clarity and readability. Ensure to use attributions, quotation marks, and paragraph format. It makes your dialogue flow, grabbing the reader’s attention.

How to format dialogue in a book?

Dialogue formatting in a book is critical for storytelling. It helps the audience distinguish the hero’s words. Follow the general rules we’ve discussed above:

Use double quotations and isolate dialogue tags with commas. Remember to place the discussion in blocks for better readability.

How to format dialogue between two characters?

A two-character dialogue offers the best way to prove successful formatting skills. Ensure you use action beats, quotations, and attribution tags. It allows readers to follow the conversation and understand it better.

What is the purpose of dialogue in a narrative essay?  

Dialogue writing is the exchange of views between two or more people to reach a consensus. It reveals the character’s attitude and argumentation. Last but not least, it helps convey the descriptive nature of your narrative essay.

References:

  • https://valenciacollege.edu/students/learning-support/winter-park/communications/documents/WritingDialogueCSSCTipSheet_Revised_.pdf
  • https://www.ursinus.edu/live/files/1158-formatting-dialogue
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  • How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago

How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago

Published on April 15, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Jack Caulfield. Revised on May 31, 2023.

Quoting means copying a passage of someone else’s words and crediting the source. To quote a source, you must ensure:

  • The quoted text is enclosed in quotation marks or formatted as a block quote
  • The original author is correctly cited
  • The text is identical to the original

The exact format of a quote depends on its length and on which citation style you are using. Quoting and citing correctly is essential to avoid plagiarism which is easy to detect with a good plagiarism checker .

How to Quote

Table of contents

How to cite a quote in apa, mla and chicago, introducing quotes, quotes within quotes, shortening or altering a quote, block quotes, when should i use quotes, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about quoting sources.

Every time you quote, you must cite the source correctly . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style you’re using. Three of the most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

Citing a quote in APA Style

To cite a direct quote in APA , you must include the author’s last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas . If the quote appears on a single page, use “p.”; if it spans a page range, use “pp.”

An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in parentheses after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.

Punctuation marks such as periods and commas are placed after the citation, not within the quotation marks .

  • Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) .
  • Darwin (1859) explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (p. 510) .

Complete guide to APA

Citing a quote in mla style.

An MLA in-text citation includes only the author’s last name and a page number. As in APA, it can be parenthetical or narrative, and a period (or other punctuation mark) appears after the citation.

  • Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin 510) .
  • Darwin explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (510) .

Complete guide to MLA

Citing a quote in chicago style.

Chicago style uses Chicago footnotes to cite sources. A note, indicated by a superscript number placed directly after the quote, specifies the author, title, and page number—or sometimes fuller information .

Unlike with parenthetical citations, in this style, the period or other punctuation mark should appear within the quotation marks, followed by the footnote number.

, 510.

Complete guide to Chicago style

Scribbr Citation Checker New

The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:

  • Missing commas and periods
  • Incorrect usage of “et al.”
  • Ampersands (&) in narrative citations
  • Missing reference entries

how to quote conversation in an essay

Make sure you integrate quotes properly into your text by introducing them in your own words, showing the reader why you’re including the quote and providing any context necessary to understand it.  Don’t  present quotations as stand-alone sentences.

There are three main strategies you can use to introduce quotes in a grammatically correct way:

  • Add an introductory sentence
  • Use an introductory signal phrase
  • Integrate the quote into your own sentence

The following examples use APA Style citations, but these strategies can be used in all styles.

Introductory sentence

Introduce the quote with a full sentence ending in a colon . Don’t use a colon if the text before the quote isn’t a full sentence.

If you name the author in your sentence, you may use present-tense verbs , such as “states,” “argues,” “explains,” “writes,” or “reports,” to describe the content of the quote.

  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).

Introductory signal phrase

You can also use a signal phrase that mentions the author or source, but doesn’t form a full sentence. In this case, you follow the phrase with a comma instead of a colon.

  • According to a recent poll, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • As Levring (2018) explains, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).

Integrated into your own sentence

To quote a phrase that doesn’t form a full sentence, you can also integrate it as part of your sentence, without any extra punctuation .

  • A recent poll suggests that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (p. 3).

When you quote text that itself contains another quote, this is called a nested quotation or a quote within a quote. It may occur, for example, when quoting dialogue from a novel.

To distinguish this quote from the surrounding quote, you enclose it in single (instead of double) quotation marks (even if this involves changing the punctuation from the original text). Make sure to close both sets of quotation marks at the appropriate moments.

Note that if you only quote the nested quotation itself, and not the surrounding text, you can just use double quotation marks.

  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “ “ Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, ” he told me, “ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” ” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had’” (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway begins by quoting his father’s invocation to “remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (Fitzgerald 1).

Note:  When the quoted text in the source comes from another source, it’s best to just find that original source in order to quote it directly. If you can’t find the original source, you can instead cite it indirectly .

Often, incorporating a quote smoothly into your text requires you to make some changes to the original text. It’s fine to do this, as long as you clearly mark the changes you’ve made to the quote.

Shortening a quote

If some parts of a passage are redundant or irrelevant, you can shorten the quote by removing words, phrases, or sentences and replacing them with an ellipsis (…). Put a space before and after the ellipsis.

Be careful that removing the words doesn’t change the meaning. The ellipsis indicates that some text has been removed, but the shortened quote should still accurately represent the author’s point.

Altering a quote

You can add or replace words in a quote when necessary. This might be because the original text doesn’t fit grammatically with your sentence (e.g., it’s in a different verb tense), or because extra information is needed to clarify the quote’s meaning.

Use brackets to distinguish words that you have added from words that were present in the original text.

The Latin term “ sic ” is used to indicate a (factual or grammatical) mistake in a quotation. It shows the reader that the mistake is from the quoted material, not a typo of your own.

In some cases, it can be useful to italicize part of a quotation to add emphasis, showing the reader that this is the key part to pay attention to. Use the phrase “emphasis added” to show that the italics were not part of the original text.

You usually don’t need to use brackets to indicate minor changes to punctuation or capitalization made to ensure the quote fits the style of your text.

If you quote more than a few lines from a source, you must format it as a block quote . Instead of using quotation marks, you set the quote on a new line and indent it so that it forms a separate block of text.

Block quotes are cited just like regular quotes, except that if the quote ends with a period, the citation appears after the period.

To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more. (16)

Avoid relying too heavily on quotes in academic writing . To integrate a source , it’s often best to paraphrase , which means putting the passage in your own words. This helps you integrate information smoothly and keeps your own voice dominant.

However, there are some situations in which quoting is more appropriate.

When focusing on language

If you want to comment on how the author uses language (for example, in literary analysis ), it’s necessary to quote so that the reader can see the exact passage you are referring to.

When giving evidence

To convince the reader of your argument, interpretation or position on a topic, it’s often helpful to include quotes that support your point. Quotes from primary sources (for example, interview transcripts or historical documents) are especially credible as evidence.

When presenting an author’s position or definition

When you’re referring to secondary sources such as scholarly books and journal articles, try to put others’ ideas in your own words when possible.

But if a passage does a great job at expressing, explaining, or defining something, and it would be very difficult to paraphrase without changing the meaning or losing the weakening the idea’s impact, it’s worth quoting directly.

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
  • What is ChatGPT?
  • Chicago style
  • Paraphrasing
  • Critical thinking

 Plagiarism

  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.

In academic writing , there are three main situations where quoting is the best choice:

  • To analyze the author’s language (e.g., in a literary analysis essay )
  • To give evidence from primary sources
  • To accurately present a precise definition or argument

Don’t overuse quotes; your own voice should be dominant. If you just want to provide information from a source, it’s usually better to paraphrase or summarize .

Every time you quote a source , you must include a correctly formatted in-text citation . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style .

For example, a direct quote in APA is cited like this: “This is a quote” (Streefkerk, 2020, p. 5).

Every in-text citation should also correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper.

A block quote is a long quote formatted as a separate “block” of text. Instead of using quotation marks , you place the quote on a new line, and indent the entire quote to mark it apart from your own words.

The rules for when to apply block quote formatting depend on the citation style:

  • APA block quotes are 40 words or longer.
  • MLA block quotes are more than 4 lines of prose or 3 lines of poetry.
  • Chicago block quotes are longer than 100 words.

If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarizes other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA and Chicago both recommend retaining the citations as part of the quote. However, MLA recommends omitting citations within a quote:

  • APA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
  • MLA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).

Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted in all styles.

If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase “as cited in” in your citation.

In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quoting should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper.

In social sciences, it varies. If your research is mainly quantitative , you won’t include many quotes, but if it’s more qualitative , you may need to quote from the data you collected .

As a general guideline, quotes should take up no more than 5–10% of your paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.

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How to Format Dialogue in APA

The American Psychological Association Publication Manual provides format and style guidance for a wide range of academic writing. The manual includes instructions for writing mechanics, including dialogue. The specific format used depends upon the type of discourse discussed in your writings.

Single Speaker

If only one speaker is being quoted, and that individual has a small amount to say, a dialogue tag -- such as "said," "asked" -- and quote are included within the text. The tag is set apart from the quote with a comma.

The following example displays word and punctuation placement: The first participant interviewed said, "I never thought I'd be able to talk about this." He then related the incident in great detail.

Multiple Speakers

When writing dialogue between two or more participants, a new paragraph is started each time the speaker changes. The spoken words are in quotation marks, and they are separated from the dialogue tags by commas. An entry might read:

She asked, "How are you coming with your research study?" "I'm not making much headway," he complained.

Long Dialogues

If the dialogue contains one person relating more than one paragraph, each paragraph of the quote begins with opening quotation marks. The closing quotation marks are placed only at the end of the final paragraph of dialogue. Any other paragraphs within the quote do not have closing quotation marks.

Movie Dialogue

If dialogue from a movie is being included, each quote begins with the speaker's name and a colon. The line in quotation marks follows. Each time there is a new speaker, a new line is started. For example:

Cat: "Meow, meow, mew." Dog: "Woof, woof." Cat: "Mrow! Mrow!"

In-Text Citations

If dialogue has been taken from a source, there must be an in-text citation. This can be indicated before the quote by mentioning the author and placing the page number where the dialogue was found in parentheses after the quote, such as:

Doe collected statements from the victims, including "I'll never believe it happened." (45)

It is also acceptable to identify both the author and page number within parentheses. The two components are separated with a comma.

For example:

The woman shouted, "It will never happen again!" (Doe, 87)

Reference Page

Any citations within the text must be included on the references page at the end of the paper. Very often, dialogue is taken from books, so the author's last name is first, followed by a comma and the author's initials. The publication year is within parentheses. There is a period. Next comes the italicized name of the book in sentence case and a period. The publication location is followed by a colon, the publisher's name and a period.

Doe, N. (2004). The last book I read. Los Angeles, CA: The Book Company

  • Purdue Online Writing Lab: Quotation Marks with Fiction, Poetry, and Titles
  • NAIT Library: APA Style Guidelines & Examples (sixth edition)
  • American Film Institute: AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes

Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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How to Write Dialogue in a Narrative Paragraph

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Hayley Milliman

How to Work With Multiple Points of View

What is Dialogue?

How to write dialogue, how to punctuate your dialogue, periods and commas, question marks and exclamation points, final thoughts.

Dialogue is the written conversational exchange between two or more characters.

Conventional English grammar rules tell us that you should always start a new paragraph when someone speaks in your writing.

“Let’s get the heck out of here right now,” Mary said, turning away from the mayhem.

John looked around the pub. “Maybe you’re right,” he said and followed her towards the door.

Sometimes, though, in the middle of a narrative paragraph, your main character needs to speak.

Mary ducked away from flying fists. The fight at the pub was getting out of control. One man was grabbing bar stools and throwing them at others, and while she watched, another one who you could tell worked out regularly grabbed men by their shirt collars and tossed them out of the way. Almost hit by one flying person, she turned to John and said, “Let’s get the heck out of here right now.”

In my research, I couldn’t find any hard and fast rules that govern how to use dialogue in the middle of a narrative paragraph. It all depends on what style manual your publisher or editorial staff follow.

For example, in the Chicago Manual of Style , putting dialogue in the middle of paragraphs depends on the context. As in the above example, if the dialogue is a natural continuation of the sentences that come before, it can be included in your paragraph. The major caveat is if someone new speaks after that, you start a new paragraph and indent it.

On the other hand, if the dialogue you’re writing departs from the sentences that come before it, you should start a new paragraph and indent the dialogue.

The fight at the pub was getting out of control. One man was grabbing bar stools and throwing them at others, and another one who you could tell worked out regularly grabbed men by their shirt collars and tossed them out of the way.

Punctuation for dialogue stays consistent whether it’s included in your paragraph or set apart as a separate paragraph. We have a great article on how to punctuate your dialogue here: Where Does Punctuation Go in Dialogue?

It’s often a stylistic choice whether to include your dialogue as part of the paragraph. If you want your dialogue to be part of the scene described in preceding sentences, you can include it.

But if you want your dialogue to stand out from the action, start it in the next paragraph.

Dialogue

Dialogue is a fantastic way to bring your readers into the midst of the action. They can picture the main character talking to someone in their mind’s eye, and it gives them a glimpse into how your character interacts with others.

That said, dialogue is hard to punctuate, especially since there are different rules for different punctuation marks—because nothing in English grammar is ever easy, right?

We’re going to try to make this as easy as possible. So we’ll start with the hardest punctuation marks to understand.

For American English, periods and commas always go inside your quotation marks, and commas are used to separate your dialogue tag from the actual dialogue when it comes at the beginning of a sentence or in the middle. Here are a few examples:

Nancy said, “Let’s go to the park today since the weather is so beautiful.”

“Let’s go to the park today since the weather is so beautiful,” she said.

“Let’s go to the park today,” she said, “since the weather is so beautiful.”

British English puts the periods and commas inside the quotation marks if they’re actually part of the quoted words or sentence. Consider the following example:

  • She sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, the theme song from The Wizard of Oz.

In the above example, the comma after “Rainbow” is not part of the quoted material and thus belongs outside the quotation marks.

But for most cases when you’re punctuating dialogue, the commas and periods belong inside the quotation marks.

Where these punctuation marks go depends on the meaning of your sentence. If your main character is asking someone a question or exclaiming about something, the punctuation marks belongs inside the quotation marks.

Nancy asked, “Does anyone want to go to the park today?”

Marija said, “That’s fantastic news!”

“Please say you’re still my friend!” Anna said.

“Can we just leave now?” asked Henry.

But if the question mark or exclamation point is for the sentence as a whole instead of just the words inside the quotation marks, they belong outside of the quotes.

Does your physical therapist always say to his patients, “You just need to try harder”?

Do you agree with the saying, “All’s fair in love and war”?

Single Quotation Marks

Only use single quotation marks for quotes within quotes, such as when a character is repeating something someone else has said. Single quotes are never used for any other purpose.

Avery said, “I saw a sign that read ‘Welcome to America’s Greatest City in the Midwest’ when I entered town this morning.”

“I heard Mona say to her mom, ‘You know nothing whatsoever about me,’ ” said Jennifer.

Some experts put a space after the single quote and before the main quotation mark like in the above example to make it easier for the reader to understand.

Here’s a trickier example of single quotation marks, question marks, and ending punctuation, just to mix things up a little.

  • Mark said, “I heard her ask her lawyer, ‘Am I free to go?’ after the verdict was read this morning.”

Perfectly clear, right? Let us know some of your trickiest dialogue punctuation situations in the comments below.

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MLA Formatting Quotations

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When you directly quote the works of others in your paper, you will format quotations differently depending on their length. Below are some basic guidelines for incorporating quotations into your paper. Please note that all pages in MLA should be double-spaced .

Short quotations

To indicate short quotations (four typed lines or fewer of prose or three lines of verse) in your text, enclose the quotation within double quotation marks. Provide the author and specific page number (in the case of verse, provide line numbers) in the in-text citation, and include a complete reference on the Works Cited page. Punctuation marks such as periods, commas, and semicolons should appear after the parenthetical citation.

Question marks and exclamation points should appear within the quotation marks if they are a part of the quoted passage, but after the parenthetical citation if they are a part of your text.

For example, when quoting short passages of prose, use the following examples:

When using short (fewer than three lines of verse) quotations from poetry, mark breaks in verse with a slash, ( / ), at the end of each line of verse (a space should precede and follow the slash). If a stanza break occurs during the quotation, use a double slash ( // ).

Long quotations

For quotations that are more than four lines of prose or three lines of verse, place quotations in a free-standing block of text and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, with the entire quote indented 1/2   inch  from the left margin while maintaining double-spacing. Your parenthetical citation should come  after the closing punctuation mark . When quoting verse, maintain original line breaks. (You should maintain double-spacing throughout your essay.)

For example, when citing more than four lines of prose, use the following examples :

Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration: They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow. By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house. (Bronte 78)

When citing long sections of poetry (four lines of verse or more), keep formatting as close to the original as possible.

In his poem "My Papa's Waltz," Theodore Roethke explores his childhood with his father:

The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We Romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother's countenance Could not unfrown itself. (qtd. in Shrodes, Finestone, Shugrue 202)

When citing two or more paragraphs, use block quotation format, even if the passage from the paragraphs is less than four lines. If you cite more than one paragraph, the first line of the second paragraph should be indented an extra 1/4 inch to denote a new paragraph:

In "American Origins of the Writing-across-the-Curriculum Movement," David Russell argues,

Writing has been an issue in American secondary and higher education since papers and examinations came into wide use in the 1870s, eventually driving out formal recitation and oral examination. . . .

From its birth in the late nineteenth century, progressive education has wrestled with the conflict within industrial society between pressure to increase specialization of knowledge and of professional work (upholding disciplinary standards) and pressure to integrate more fully an ever-widening number of citizens into intellectually meaningful activity within mass society (promoting social equity). . . . (3)

Adding or omitting words in quotations

If you add a word or words in a quotation, you should put brackets around the words to indicate that they are not part of the original text:

If you omit a word or words from a quotation, you should indicate the deleted word or words by using ellipses, which are three periods ( . . . ) preceded and followed by a space. For example:

Please note that brackets are not needed around ellipses unless they would add clarity.

When omitting words from poetry quotations, use a standard three-period ellipses; however, when omitting one or more full lines of poetry, space several periods to about the length of a complete line in the poem:

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

What this handout is about

Used effectively, quotations can provide important pieces of evidence and lend fresh voices and perspectives to your narrative. Used ineffectively, however, quotations can clutter your text and interrupt the flow of your argument. This handout will help you decide when and how to quote like a pro.

When should I quote?

Use quotations at strategically selected moments. You have probably been told by teachers to provide as much evidence as possible in support of your thesis. But packing your paper with quotations will not necessarily strengthen your argument. The majority of your paper should still be your original ideas in your own words (after all, it’s your paper). And quotations are only one type of evidence: well-balanced papers may also make use of paraphrases, data, and statistics. The types of evidence you use will depend in part on the conventions of the discipline or audience for which you are writing. For example, papers analyzing literature may rely heavily on direct quotations of the text, while papers in the social sciences may have more paraphrasing, data, and statistics than quotations.

Discussing specific arguments or ideas

Sometimes, in order to have a clear, accurate discussion of the ideas of others, you need to quote those ideas word for word. Suppose you want to challenge the following statement made by John Doe, a well-known historian:

“At the beginning of World War Two, almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly.”

If it is especially important that you formulate a counterargument to this claim, then you might wish to quote the part of the statement that you find questionable and establish a dialogue between yourself and John Doe:

Historian John Doe has argued that in 1941 “almost all Americans assumed the war would end quickly” (Doe 223). Yet during the first six months of U.S. involvement, the wives and mothers of soldiers often noted in their diaries their fear that the war would drag on for years.

Giving added emphasis to a particularly authoritative source on your topic.

There will be times when you want to highlight the words of a particularly important and authoritative source on your topic. For example, suppose you were writing an essay about the differences between the lives of male and female slaves in the U.S. South. One of your most provocative sources is a narrative written by a former slave, Harriet Jacobs. It would then be appropriate to quote some of Jacobs’s words:

Harriet Jacobs, a former slave from North Carolina, published an autobiographical slave narrative in 1861. She exposed the hardships of both male and female slaves but ultimately concluded that “slavery is terrible for men; but it is far more terrible for women.”

In this particular example, Jacobs is providing a crucial first-hand perspective on slavery. Thus, her words deserve more exposure than a paraphrase could provide.

Jacobs is quoted in Harriet A. Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, ed. Jean Fagan Yellin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1987).

Analyzing how others use language.

This scenario is probably most common in literature and linguistics courses, but you might also find yourself writing about the use of language in history and social science classes. If the use of language is your primary topic, then you will obviously need to quote users of that language.

Examples of topics that might require the frequent use of quotations include:

Southern colloquial expressions in William Faulkner’s Light in August

Ms. and the creation of a language of female empowerment

A comparison of three British poets and their use of rhyme

Spicing up your prose.

In order to lend variety to your prose, you may wish to quote a source with particularly vivid language. All quotations, however, must closely relate to your topic and arguments. Do not insert a quotation solely for its literary merits.

One example of a quotation that adds flair:

President Calvin Coolidge’s tendency to fall asleep became legendary. As H. L. Mencken commented in the American Mercury in 1933, “Nero fiddled, but Coolidge only snored.”

How do I set up and follow up a quotation?

Once you’ve carefully selected the quotations that you want to use, your next job is to weave those quotations into your text. The words that precede and follow a quotation are just as important as the quotation itself. You can think of each quote as the filling in a sandwich: it may be tasty on its own, but it’s messy to eat without some bread on either side of it. Your words can serve as the “bread” that helps readers digest each quote easily. Below are four guidelines for setting up and following up quotations.

In illustrating these four steps, we’ll use as our example, Franklin Roosevelt’s famous quotation, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

1. Provide context for each quotation.

Do not rely on quotations to tell your story for you. It is your responsibility to provide your reader with context for the quotation. The context should set the basic scene for when, possibly where, and under what circumstances the quotation was spoken or written. So, in providing context for our above example, you might write:

When Franklin Roosevelt gave his inaugural speech on March 4, 1933, he addressed a nation weakened and demoralized by economic depression.

2. Attribute each quotation to its source.

Tell your reader who is speaking. Here is a good test: try reading your text aloud. Could your reader determine without looking at your paper where your quotations begin? If not, you need to attribute the quote more noticeably.

Avoid getting into the “they said” attribution rut! There are many other ways to attribute quotes besides this construction. Here are a few alternative verbs, usually followed by “that”:

add remark exclaim
announce reply state
comment respond estimate
write point out predict
argue suggest propose
declare criticize proclaim
note complain opine
observe think note

Different reporting verbs are preferred by different disciplines, so pay special attention to these in your disciplinary reading. If you’re unfamiliar with the meanings of any of these words or others you find in your reading, consult a dictionary before using them.

3. Explain the significance of the quotation.

Once you’ve inserted your quotation, along with its context and attribution, don’t stop! Your reader still needs your assessment of why the quotation holds significance for your paper. Using our Roosevelt example, if you were writing a paper on the first one-hundred days of FDR’s administration, you might follow the quotation by linking it to that topic:

With that message of hope and confidence, the new president set the stage for his next one-hundred days in office and helped restore the faith of the American people in their government.

4. Provide a citation for the quotation.

All quotations, just like all paraphrases, require a formal citation. For more details about particular citation formats, see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . In general, you should remember one rule of thumb: Place the parenthetical reference or footnote/endnote number after—not within—the closed quotation mark.

Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (Roosevelt, Public Papers, 11).

Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”1

How do I embed a quotation into a sentence?

In general, avoid leaving quotes as sentences unto themselves. Even if you have provided some context for the quote, a quote standing alone can disrupt your flow.  Take a look at this example:

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression. “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

Standing by itself, the quote’s connection to the preceding sentence is unclear. There are several ways to incorporate a quote more smoothly:

Lead into the quote with a colon.

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression: “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

The colon announces that a quote will follow to provide evidence for the sentence’s claim.

Introduce or conclude the quote by attributing it to the speaker. If your attribution precedes the quote, you will need to use a comma after the verb.

Hamlet denies Rosencrantz’s claim that thwarted ambition caused his depression. He states, “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2).

When faced with a twelve-foot mountain troll, Ron gathers his courage, shouting, “Wingardium Leviosa!” (Rowling, p. 176).

The Pirate King sees an element of regality in their impoverished and dishonest life. “It is, it is a glorious thing/To be a pirate king,” he declares (Pirates of Penzance, 1983).

Interrupt the quote with an attribution to the speaker. Again, you will need to use a comma after the verb, as well as a comma leading into the attribution.

“There is nothing either good or bad,” Hamlet argues, “but thinking makes it so” (Hamlet 2.2).

“And death shall be no more,” Donne writes, “Death thou shalt die” (“Death, Be Not Proud,” l. 14).

Dividing the quote may highlight a particular nuance of the quote’s meaning. In the first example, the division calls attention to the two parts of Hamlet’s claim. The first phrase states that nothing is inherently good or bad; the second phrase suggests that our perspective causes things to become good or bad. In the second example, the isolation of “Death thou shalt die” at the end of the sentence draws a reader’s attention to that phrase in particular. As you decide whether or not you want to break up a quote, you should consider the shift in emphasis that the division might create.

Use the words of the quote grammatically within your own sentence.

When Hamlet tells Rosencrantz that he “could be bounded in a nutshell and count [him]self a king of infinite space” (Hamlet 2.2), he implies that thwarted ambition did not cause his depression.

Ultimately, death holds no power over Donne since in the afterlife, “death shall be no more” (“Death, Be Not Proud,” l. 14).

Note that when you use “that” after the verb that introduces the quote, you no longer need a comma.

The Pirate King argues that “it is, it is a glorious thing/to be a pirate king” (Pirates of Penzance, 1983).

How much should I quote?

As few words as possible. Remember, your paper should primarily contain your own words, so quote only the most pithy and memorable parts of sources. Here are guidelines for selecting quoted material judiciously:

Excerpt fragments.

Sometimes, you should quote short fragments, rather than whole sentences. Suppose you interviewed Jane Doe about her reaction to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. She commented:

“I couldn’t believe it. It was just unreal and so sad. It was just unbelievable. I had never experienced such denial. I don’t know why I felt so strongly. Perhaps it was because JFK was more to me than a president. He represented the hopes of young people everywhere.”

You could quote all of Jane’s comments, but her first three sentences are fairly redundant. You might instead want to quote Jane when she arrives at the ultimate reason for her strong emotions:

Jane Doe grappled with grief and disbelief. She had viewed JFK, not just as a national figurehead, but as someone who “represented the hopes of young people everywhere.”

Excerpt those fragments carefully!

Quoting the words of others carries a big responsibility. Misquoting misrepresents the ideas of others. Here’s a classic example of a misquote:

John Adams has often been quoted as having said: “This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it.”

John Adams did, in fact, write the above words. But if you see those words in context, the meaning changes entirely. Here’s the rest of the quotation:

Twenty times, in the course of my late reading, have I been on the point of breaking out, ‘this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!!!!’ But in this exclamation, I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in public company—I mean hell.

As you can see from this example, context matters!

This example is from Paul F. Boller, Jr. and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions (Oxford University Press, 1989).

Use block quotations sparingly.

There may be times when you need to quote long passages. However, you should use block quotations only when you fear that omitting any words will destroy the integrity of the passage. If that passage exceeds four lines (some sources say five), then set it off as a block quotation.

Be sure you are handling block quotes correctly in papers for different academic disciplines–check the index of the citation style guide you are using. Here are a few general tips for setting off your block quotations:

  • Set up a block quotation with your own words followed by a colon.
  • Indent. You normally indent 4-5 spaces for the start of a paragraph. When setting up a block quotation, indent the entire paragraph once from the left-hand margin.
  • Single space or double space within the block quotation, depending on the style guidelines of your discipline (MLA, CSE, APA, Chicago, etc.).
  • Do not use quotation marks at the beginning or end of the block quote—the indentation is what indicates that it’s a quote.
  • Place parenthetical citation according to your style guide (usually after the period following the last sentence of the quote).
  • Follow up a block quotation with your own words.

So, using the above example from John Adams, here’s how you might include a block quotation:

After reading several doctrinally rigid tracts, John Adams recalled the zealous ranting of his former teacher, Joseph Cleverly, and minister, Lemuel Bryant. He expressed his ambivalence toward religion in an 1817 letter to Thomas Jefferson:

Adams clearly appreciated religion, even if he often questioned its promotion.

How do I combine quotation marks with other punctuation marks?

It can be confusing when you start combining quotation marks with other punctuation marks. You should consult a style manual for complicated situations, but the following two rules apply to most cases:

Keep periods and commas within quotation marks.

So, for example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries.”

In the above example, both the comma and period were enclosed in the quotation marks. The main exception to this rule involves the use of internal citations, which always precede the last period of the sentence. For example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries” (Poe 167).

Note, however, that the period remains inside the quotation marks when your citation style involves superscript footnotes or endnotes. For example:

According to Professor Poe, werewolves “represent anxiety about the separation between human and animal,” and werewolf movies often “interrogate those boundaries.” 2

Place all other punctuation marks (colons, semicolons, exclamation marks, question marks) outside the quotation marks, except when they were part of the original quotation.

Take a look at the following examples:

I couldn’t believe it when my friend passed me a note in the cafe saying the management “started charging $15 per hour for parking”!

The coach yelled, “Run!”

In the first example, the author placed the exclamation point outside the quotation mark because she added it herself to emphasize the outrageous nature of the parking price change. The original note had not included an exclamation mark. In the second example, the exclamation mark remains within the quotation mark because it is indicating the excited tone in which the coach yelled the command. Thus, the exclamation mark is considered to be part of the original quotation.

How do I indicate quotations within quotations?

If you are quoting a passage that contains a quotation, then you use single quotation marks for the internal quotation. Quite rarely, you quote a passage that has a quotation within a quotation. In that rare instance, you would use double quotation marks for the second internal quotation.

Here’s an example of a quotation within a quotation:

In “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” Hans Christian Andersen wrote, “‘But the Emperor has nothing on at all!’ cried a little child.”

Remember to consult your style guide to determine how to properly cite a quote within a quote.

When do I use those three dots ( . . . )?

Whenever you want to leave out material from within a quotation, you need to use an ellipsis, which is a series of three periods, each of which should be preceded and followed by a space. So, an ellipsis in this sentence would look like . . . this. There are a few rules to follow when using ellipses:

Be sure that you don’t fundamentally change the meaning of the quotation by omitting material.

Take a look at the following example:

“The Writing Center is located on the UNC campus and serves the entire UNC community.”

“The Writing Center . . . serves the entire UNC community.”

The reader’s understanding of the Writing Center’s mission to serve the UNC community is not affected by omitting the information about its location.

Do not use ellipses at the beginning or ending of quotations, unless it’s important for the reader to know that the quotation was truncated.

For example, using the above example, you would NOT need an ellipsis in either of these situations:

“The Writing Center is located on the UNC campus . . .”

The Writing Center ” . . . serves the entire UNC community.”

Use punctuation marks in combination with ellipses when removing material from the end of sentences or clauses.

For example, if you take material from the end of a sentence, keep the period in as usual.

“The boys ran to school, forgetting their lunches and books. Even though they were out of breath, they made it on time.”

“The boys ran to school. . . . Even though they were out of breath, they made it on time.”

Likewise, if you excerpt material at the end of clause that ends in a comma, retain the comma.

“The red car came to a screeching halt that was heard by nearby pedestrians, but no one was hurt.”

“The red car came to a screeching halt . . . , but no one was hurt.”

Is it ever okay to insert my own words or change words in a quotation?

Sometimes it is necessary for clarity and flow to alter a word or words within a quotation. You should make such changes rarely. In order to alert your reader to the changes you’ve made, you should always bracket the altered words. Here are a few examples of situations when you might need brackets:

Changing verb tense or pronouns in order to be consistent with the rest of the sentence.

Suppose you were quoting a woman who, when asked about her experiences immigrating to the United States, commented “nobody understood me.” You might write:

Esther Hansen felt that when she came to the United States “nobody understood [her].”

In the above example, you’ve changed “me” to “her” in order to keep the entire passage in third person. However, you could avoid the need for this change by simply rephrasing:

“Nobody understood me,” recalled Danish immigrant Esther Hansen.

Including supplemental information that your reader needs in order to understand the quotation.

For example, if you were quoting someone’s nickname, you might want to let your reader know the full name of that person in brackets.

“The principal of the school told Billy [William Smith] that his contract would be terminated.”

Similarly, if a quotation referenced an event with which the reader might be unfamiliar, you could identify that event in brackets.

“We completely revised our political strategies after the strike [of 1934].”

Indicating the use of nonstandard grammar or spelling.

In rare situations, you may quote from a text that has nonstandard grammar, spelling, or word choice. In such cases, you may want to insert [sic], which means “thus” or “so” in Latin. Using [sic] alerts your reader to the fact that this nonstandard language is not the result of a typo on your part. Always italicize “sic” and enclose it in brackets. There is no need to put a period at the end. Here’s an example of when you might use [sic]:

Twelve-year-old Betsy Smith wrote in her diary, “Father is afraid that he will be guilty of beach [sic] of contract.”

Here [sic] indicates that the original author wrote “beach of contract,” not breach of contract, which is the accepted terminology.

Do not overuse brackets!

For example, it is not necessary to bracket capitalization changes that you make at the beginning of sentences. For example, suppose you were going to use part of this quotation:

“The colors scintillated curiously over a hard carapace, and the beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello.”

If you wanted to begin a sentence with an excerpt from the middle of this quotation, there would be no need to bracket your capitalization changes.

“The beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello,” said Dr. Grace Farley, remembering a defining moment on her journey to becoming an entomologist.

Not: “[T]he beetle’s tiny antennae made gentle waving motions as though saying hello,” said Dr. Grace Farley, remembering a defining moment on her journey to becoming an entomologist.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Barzun, Jacques, and Henry F. Graff. 2012. The Modern Researcher , 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. FitzGerald. 2016. The Craft of Research , 4th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Gibaldi, Joseph. 2009. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers , 7th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.

Turabian, Kate. 2018. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, Dissertations , 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Dialogue: The Dos and Don’ts of Quotes in Your College Essay

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“Hey,” I began, “you have cow eyes. I know that sounds like a bad thing but have you ever looked into a cow’s eyes? They are so deep and brown and beautiful. I’ve looked into a lot a cow eyes because I’m from Wisconsin.”

This dialogue segment is from Malcolm Conner’s winning “Modern Love” College Essay , p r i n t e d j u s t a c o u p l e m o n t h s a g o i n t h e N e w Y o r k T i m e s . Without dialogue, he might have said “I fumbled with my words, trying to compliment her,” but the dialogue shows his rambling and awkward demeanor instead.

Dialogue is an underutilized tool in the college essay. So many students don’t even consider adding an outdated adage from a parent or a hilarious crack from a high school coach to break up their prose, set the scene or build the profiles of their stories’ characters.  And yet, dialogue is one of those devices that can give you a lot of bang for your buck, delivering a punch of personality or a wallop of context using just a few carefully culled utterances. Dialogue is also one of those tools that is easy to waste if you don’t know how to wield it for maximum effect. So when should you use dialogue in your college essay? And when should you avoid it?

Use dialogue:

If it reveals something specific about a character in your essay. Is your character cranky? A jokester? Is your character selfish? (“You can’t have any.”) Dialogue can telegraph these kinds of qualities to a reader very quickly.

If it helps to move the story forward. Maybe when everything is going great, your friend pulls you aside and says, “I have to tell you something, something bad.”

If it expresses humor or heartache or other emotions in the character’s own words. Is your character a funny grandparent? (“If you eat any more potatoes, Ireland’s gonna come for you, sport.” “Honey, if I had known about senior discounts, I would have let my hair go grey twenty years ago.”)

Don’t use dialogue:

If it is expressing something that is obvious to the reader without adding an additional layer of context or insight to the story or your characters. If it doesn’t tell us anything new about the character, the story may be better without it.

If you’ve already used it a few times in your essay. The impact of dialogue is enhanced when it’s used sparingly — especially in short pieces of writing.

If it takes away from the focal point of your story. Dialogue can be great insight into a character or situation, but if it doesn’t serve a purpose in hitting home your main point, it needs to be cut.

All of this said, of course, there are exceptions to these rules. If used intentionally, as a conscious creative choice, submitting an essay overflowing with dialogue can actually work to amazing effect. For example, maybe your essay is a discussion between you and your former self, between you and your best friend, or you and your parent.  In these cases, you should ask yourself: why is this the best way to share my story? If you can answer that question and still believe you’re making the right choice, by all means, continue with your experiment.

Otherwise, the tips above should help you on the road to incorporating the right kind and amount of dialogue into your college essay. When used well, dialogue illuminates. It shows personality. It’s specific. I say, “Do it! Do it! Do it!”

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How do I quote dialogue that is not in quotation marks?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook . For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .

Some works render dialogue without enclosing it in punctuation that would distinguish it from the surrounding text. Treat such dialogue as you would treat any quoted material: use quotation marks to distinguish the quoted material from your prose, but retain the published formatting within the quotation—for example:

Saramago’s personification of death signs her name in lowercase letters, a detail that does not escape the prime minister and the cabinet secretary amid more momentous considerations: “The prime minister picked up the letter again, glanced over it without reading it and said, It’s odd, the initial letter of the signature should be a capital but it’s not, Yes, I found that odd too, starting a name with a lowercase letter isn’t normal . . .”  (103). Work Cited Saramago, José. Death with Interruptions . Translated by Margaret Jull Costa, Harcourt, 2008.

If you believe it will be helpful to the reader or pertinent to your argument, you can make clear in your prose or in a note that the author of the work you are quoting does not use quotation marks for dialogue. The choice to avoid quotation marks, however, does not in itself require comment, particularly if the author uses the familiar technique of distinguishing one speaker from another using line breaks or dashes. When more than one line is being quoted, it’s clearest to set such material as an extract; for example:

Grace’s commentary measures the doctor against the would-be confessors of her past. Perhaps I will tell you lies, I say. He doesn’t say, Grace what a wicked suggestion, you have a sinful imagination. He says, Perhaps you will. Perhaps you will tell lies without meaning to, and perhaps you will also tell them deliberately. Perhaps you are a liar. I look at him. There are those who have said I am one, I say. We will just have to take that chance, he says. (Atwood 41)

Atwood, Margaret. Alias Grace . Anchor, 1997.

Selections can be worked into the text as you would run in any quoted material, without special formatting:

Grace’s commentary measures the doctor against the would-be confessors of her past. She proposes, “Perhaps I will tell you lies,” then notes, “He doesn’t say, Grace what a wicked suggestion, you have a sinful imagination. He says, Perhaps you will” (Atwood 41).

The following example shows original text with dashes followed by a published translation that omits them. MLA publications include English translations for text quoted in other languages, which may involve juxtaposing styles as shown here.

After they have become friends, the fox and the little prince must prepare to part: — Ah! dit le renard…Je pleurerai. — C’est ta faute, dit le petit prince, je ne te souhaitais point de mal, mais tu as voulu que je t’apprivoise… — Bien sûr, dit le renard. — Mais tu vas pleurer! dit le petit prince. — Bien sûr, dit le renard. — Alors tu n’y gagnes rien! — J’y gagne, dit le renard, à cause de la couleur du blé. (Saint-Exupéry 63) “Ah!” the fox said. “I shall weep.” “It’s your own fault,” the little prince said. “I never wanted to to do you any harm, but you insisted that I tame you . . .” “Yes, of course,” the fox said. “But you’re going to weep!” said the little prince. “Yes, of course,” the fox said. “Then you get nothing out of it?” “I get something” the fox said, “because of the color of the wheat.” (Howard 61) Works Cited Howard, Richard, translator. The Little Prince . By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Harcourt, 2000. Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de. Le petit prince . Harcourt, 1943.

For more tips on quoting dialogue, see “How do I punctuate quoted dialogue from a novel?”

Quotation Marks in Dialogue

General usage.

Use quotation marks to show that you are writing the exact words that someone said or wrote.

“Finally.” My mother rose to her feet. “Your father is home.”

Use single quotation marks to enclose a quotation within a quotation.

She said, “People who say ‘Let me be honest with you’ seldom are.”

Use quotation marks when quoting a specific word or phrase.

One engineer called the company’s drug-testing program “a paranoid reaction.”

Conversation between Two or More People

When writing dialogue, start a new paragraph every time the speaker changes. Note: Each speaker’s actions are in the same paragraph as their dialogue.

“Father,” I said, finally.

“Kikuko tells me Watanabe-San took his whole family with him.”

My father lowered his eyes and nodded. For some moments he seemed deep in thought. “Watanabe was very devoted to his work,” he said at last. “The collapse of the firm was a great blow to him. I fear it must have weakened his judgment.”

“You think what he did—it was a mistake?”

“Why, of course. Do you see it otherwise?”

“No, no. Of course not.”

“There are other things besides work.”

—Excerpt from “A Family Supper,” by Kazuo Ishiguro

Special Usage

Use italics (not quotation marks) for foreign language words.

María loves to listen to flamenco music.

The major style guides (MLA, APA, etc.) have different rules on when to use italics and when to use quotation marks in the cases below. Please consult the style guide you’re using in class, or ask your professor if they have a preference.

Use italics or quotation marks with technical terms that would be unfamiliar to most readers.

Ecologists define a chryocore as a region of perpetual ice and snow. Ecologists define a “chryocore” as a region of perpetual ice and snow.

Use italics or quotation marks when singling out a word for emphasis or definition.

I often confuse the words accept and except . I often confuse the words “accept” and “except.”

Italics is a style of printing in which the letters slant to the right. “Italics” is a style of printing in which the letters slant to the right.

Punctuation Used with Quotation Marks

Periods and commas always go inside the closing quotation marks.

“Registration begins next week,” she said. “You can see an advisor then.” When I asked him if he wanted another piece of cake, he replied, “Yes.”

Question marks and exclamation points go inside the closing quotation marks when the entire quoted sentence forms a question or an exclamation.

“Where are they now?” she shouted.

Question marks and exclamation points go outside the closing quotation marks when the entire sentence forms a question or an exclamation.

Who said, “To err is human”?

A direct quotation begins with a capital letter unless it is a sentence fragment or an interrupted thought.

The travel agent said, “Our city is usually warm in the spring.” “Once,” said Elianora, “my family rode a train to Maine.”

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Suggested Ways to Introduce Quotations

When you quote another writer's words, it's best to introduce or contextualize the quote. 

How To Quote In An Essay?

To introduce a quote in an essay, don't forget to include author's last name and page number (MLA) or author, date, and page number (APA) in your citation. Shown below are some possible ways to introduce quotations. The examples use MLA format.

Use A Full Sentence Followed by A Colon To Introduce A Quotation

  • The setting emphasizes deception: "Nothing is as it appears" (Smith 1).
  • Piercy ends the poem on an ironic note: "To every woman a happy ending" (25).

Begin A Sentence with Your Own Words, Then Complete It with Quoted Words

Note that in the second example below, a slash with a space on either side ( / ) marks a line break in the original poem.

  • Hamlet's task is to avenge a "foul and most unnatural murder" (Shakespeare 925).
  • The speaker is mystified by her sleeping baby, whose "moth-breath / flickers among the flat pink roses" (Plath 17).

Use An Introductory Phrase Naming The Source, Followed By A Comma to Quote A Critic or Researcher

Note that the first letter after the quotation marks should be upper case. According to MLA guidelines, if you change the case of a letter from the original, you must indicate this with brackets. APA format doesn't require brackets.

  • According to Smith, "[W]riting is fun" (215).
  • In Smith's words, " . . .
  • In Smith's view, " . . .

Use A Descriptive Verb, Followed by A Comma To Introduce A Critic's Words

Avoid using says unless the words were originally spoken aloud, for instance, during an interview.

  • Smith states, "This book is terrific" (102).
  • Smith remarks, " . . .
  • Smith writes, " . . .
  • Smith notes, " . . .
  • Smith comments, " . . .
  • Smith observes, " . . .
  • Smith concludes, " . . .
  • Smith reports, " . . .
  • Smith maintains, " . . .
  • Smith adds, " . . .

Don't Follow It with A Comma If Your Lead into The Quotation Ends in That or As

The first letter of the quotation should be lower case.

  • Smith points out that "millions of students would like to burn this book" (53).
  • Smith emphasizes that " . . .
  • Smith interprets the hand washing in MacBeth as "an attempt at absolution" (106).
  • Smith describes the novel as "a celebration of human experience" (233).

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Enhance your academic writing skills by exploring our additional writing resources that will help you craft compelling essays, research papers, and more.

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How to Put a Quote in an Essay

Last Updated: November 28, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,647,904 times.

Using a direct quote in your essay is a great way to support your ideas with concrete evidence, which you need to support your thesis. To select a good quote , look for a passage that supports your argument and is open to analysis. Then, incorporate that quote into your essay, and make sure you properly cite it based on the style guide you’re using.

Sample Quotes

how to quote conversation in an essay

Incorporating a Short Quote

Step 1 Incorporate short direct quotes into a sentence.

  • For instance, let's say this is the quote you want to use: "The brown leaves symbolize the death of their relationship, while the green buds suggest new opportunities will soon unfold."
  • If you just type that sentence into your essay and put quotes around it, your reader will be disoriented. Instead, you could incorporate it into a sentence like this: "The imagery in the story mirrors what's happening in Lia's love life, as 'The brown leaves symbolize the death of their relationship, while the green buds suggest new opportunities will soon unfold.'"

Step 2 Use a lead-in...

  • "Critic Alex Li says, 'The frequent references to the color blue are used to suggest that the family is struggling to cope with the loss of their matriarch.'"
  • "According to McKinney’s research, 'Adults who do yoga at least three times a week have lower blood pressure, better sleeping patterns, and fewer everyday frustrations.'"
  • "Based on several recent studies, people are more likely to sit on the park benches when they're shaded by trees."

Step 3 Put quotation marks...

  • You still need to use quotation marks even if you're only quoting a few words.
  • If you're in doubt, it's best to be cautious and use quotes.

Step 4 Provide commentary after...

  • For example, let’s say you used the quote, “According to McKinney’s research, ‘Adults who do yoga at least three times a week have lower blood pressure, better sleeping patterns, and fewer everyday frustrations.’” Your commentary might read, “This shows that yoga can have a positive impact on people’s health, so incorporating it into the workplace can help improve employee health outcomes. Since yoga makes employees healthier, they’ll likely have reduced insurance costs.”

Step 5 Paraphrase

  • When you use a paraphrase, you still need to provide commentary that links the paraphrased material back to your thesis and ideas.

Using a Long Quote

Step 1 Introduce a long direct quote, then set it off in a block.

  • The reader will recognize that the material is a direct quote because it's set off from the rest of the text. That's why you don't need to use quotation marks. However, you will include your citation at the bottom.

Step 2 Write an introductory lead-in to tell the reader what the quote is about.

  • "In The Things They Carried , the items carried by soldiers in the Vietnam war are used to both characterize them and burden the readers with the weight they are carrying: The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near-necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations, and two or three canteens of water." (O'Brien 2)

Variation: When you're citing two or more paragraphs, you must use block quotes, even if the passage you want to quote is less than four lines long. You should indent the first line of each paragraph an extra quarter inch. Then, use ellipses (…) at the end of one paragraph to transition to the next.

Step 3 Indent the block quote by .5 inches (1.3 cm) from the left margin.

  • Your block quote will use the same spacing as the rest of your paper, which will likely be double-spacing.

Step 4 Use an ellipsis to omit a word or words from a direct quote.

  • For example, “According to Li, “Rosa is the first sister to pick a rose because she’s the only one who’s begun to move on after their mother’s death” might become “According to Li, “Rosa is the first sister to pick a rose because she’s … begun to move on after their mother’s death.”
  • Don’t eliminate words to change the meaning of the original text. For instance, it’s not appropriate to use an ellipsis to change “plants did not grow faster when exposed to poetry” to “plants did … grow faster when exposed to poetry.”

Step 5 Put brackets around words you need to add to a quote for clarification.

  • For example, let’s say you want to use the quote, “All of them experienced a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.” This doesn’t tell the reader who you’re talking about. You could use brackets to say, “All of [the teachers in the study] experienced a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.”
  • However, if you know the study is talking about teachers, you couldn’t use brackets to say, “All of [society experiences] a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.”

Step 6 Provide commentary after a quote to explain how it supports your ideas.

  • If you don't explain your quote well, then it's not helping your ideas. You can't expect the reader to connect the quote back to your thesis for you.

Step 7 Paraphrase the quote to condense it to 1 or 2 sentences, if you can.

  • For instance, you may prefer to use a long block quote to present a passage from a literary work that demonstrates the author's style. However, let's say you were using a journal article to provide a critic's perspective on an author's work. You may not need to directly quote an entire paragraph word-for-word to get their point across. Instead, use a paraphrase.

Tip: If you’re unsure about a quote, ask yourself, “Can I paraphrase this in more concise language and not lose any support for my argument?” If the answer is yes, a quote is not necessary.

Citing Your Quote

Step 1 Cite the author’s...

  • An MLA citation will look like this: (Lopez 24)
  • For sources with multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Anderson and Smith 55-56) or (Taylor, Gomez, and Austin 89)
  • If you use the author’s name in your lead-in to the quote, you just need to provide the year in parentheses: According to Luz Lopez, “the green grass symbolizes a fresh start for Lia (24).”

Step 2 Include the author’s...

  • An APA citation for a direct quote looks like this: (Ronan, 2019, p. 10)
  • If you’re citing multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Cruz, Hanks, and Simmons, 2019, p. 85)
  • If you incorporated the author’s name into your lead-in, you can just give the year and page number: Based on Ronan’s (2019, p. 10) analysis, “coffee breaks improve productivity.”

Step 3 Use the author’s last name, date, and page number for Chicago Style.

  • For instance, a Chicago Style citation will look like this: (Alexander 2019, 125)
  • If you’re quoting a source with multiple authors, separate them with the word “and:” (Pattinson, Stewart, and Green 2019, 175)
  • If you already incorporated the author’s name into your quote, then you can just provide the year and page number: According to Alexander, “the smell of roses increases feelings of happiness” (2019, 125).

Step 4 Prepare a Works Cited or References page.

  • For MLA, you'd cite an article like this: Lopez, Luz. "A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in 'Her Darkest Sunshine.'" Journal of Stories , vol. 2, no. 5, 2019, p. 15-22. [17] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • In APA, you'd cite an article like this: Lopez, Luz. (2019). A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in "Her Darkest Sunshine." Journal of Stories , 2(5), 15-22. [18] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
  • For Chicago Style, your article citation would look like this: Lopez, Luz. "A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in 'Her Darkest Sunshine.'" Journal of Stories 2 no. 4 (2019): 15-22. [19] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Selecting a Quote

Step 1 Select a quote that backs up the argument you’re making.

Tip: Quotes are most effective when the original language of the person or text you’re quoting is worth repeating word-for-word.

Step 2 Make sure the quote is something you can analyze.

  • If you’re struggling to explain the quote or link it back to your argument, then it’s likely not a good idea to include it in your essay.

Step 3 Avoid using too many direct quotes in your paper.

  • Paraphrases and summaries work just like a direct quote, except that you don’t need to put quotation marks around them because you’re using your own words to restate ideas. However, you still need to cite the sources you used.

Community Q&A

wikiHow Staff Editor

  • Always cite your quotes properly. If you don't, it is considered plagiarism. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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Write an Essay

  • ↑ https://www.ursinus.edu/live/files/1160-integrating-quotespdf
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-quotes-.html
  • ↑ https://helpfulprofessor.com/quotes/
  • ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/using-sources/quotations/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_quotations.html
  • ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide/intext
  • ↑ https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_articles_in_periodicals.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/periodicals.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/quotations/

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Medical Disclaimer

The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before starting, changing, or stopping any kind of health treatment.

Read More...

To put a quote in an essay, incorporate it directly into a sentence if it's shorter than 4 typed lines. For example, you could write "According to researchers," and then insert the quote. If a quote is longer than 4 typed lines, set it off from the rest of the paragraph, and don't put quotes around it. After the quote, include an in-text citation so readers know where it's from. The right way to cite the quote will depend on whether you're using MLA, APA, or Chicago Style formatting. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to omit words from a quote, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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  • How to Quote | Citing Quotes in Harvard & APA

How to Quote | Citing Quotes in Harvard & APA

Published on 15 April 2022 by Shona McCombes and Jack Caulfield. Revised on 3 September 2022.

Quoting means copying a passage of someone else’s words and crediting the source. To quote a source, you must ensure:

  • The quoted text is enclosed in quotation marks (usually single quotation marks in UK English, though double is acceptable as long as you’re consistent) or formatted as a block quote
  • The original author is correctly cited
  • The text is identical to the original

The exact format of a quote depends on its length and on which citation style you are using. Quoting and citing correctly is essential to avoid plagiarism , which is easy to detect with a good plagiarism checker .

How to Quote

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Table of contents

How to cite a quote in harvard and apa style, introducing quotes, quotes within quotes, shortening or altering a quote, block quotes, when should i use quotes, frequently asked questions about quoting sources.

Every time you quote, you must cite the source correctly . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style you’re using.

Citing a quote in Harvard style

When you include a quote in Harvard style, you must add a Harvard in-text citation giving the author’s last name, the year of publication, and a page number if available. Any full stop or comma appears after the citation, not within the quotation marks.

Citations can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in brackets after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.

  • Evolution is a gradual process that ‘can act only by very short and slow steps’ (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) . Darwin (1859) explains that evolution ‘can act only by very short and slow steps’ (p. 510) .

Complete guide to Harvard style

Citing a quote in APA Style

To cite a direct quote in APA , you must include the author’s last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas. If the quote appears on a single page, use ‘p.’; if it spans a page range, use ‘pp.’

An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in parentheses after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.

Punctuation marks such as full stops and commas are placed after the citation, not within the quotation marks.

  • Evolution is a gradual process that ‘can act only by very short and slow steps’ (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) .
  • Darwin (1859) explains that evolution ‘can act only by very short and slow steps’ (p. 510) .

Complete guide to APA

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Make sure you integrate quotes properly into your text by introducing them in your own words, showing the reader why you’re including the quote and providing any context necessary to understand it.  Don’t  present quotations as stand-alone sentences.

There are three main strategies you can use to introduce quotes in a grammatically correct way:

  • Add an introductory sentence
  • Use an introductory signal phrase
  • Integrate the quote into your own sentence

The following examples use APA Style citations, but these strategies can be used in all styles.

Introductory sentence

Introduce the quote with a full sentence ending in a colon . Don’t use a colon if the text before the quote isn’t a full sentence.

If you name the author in your sentence, you may use present-tense verbs, such as “states’, ‘argues’, ‘explains’, ‘writes’, or ‘reports’, to describe the content of the quote.

  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that: ‘A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • In Denmark, a recent poll shows that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: ‘A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: ‘A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ (p. 3).

Introductory signal phrase

You can also use a signal phrase that mentions the author or source but doesn’t form a full sentence. In this case, you follow the phrase with a comma instead of a colon.

  • According to a recent poll, ‘A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • As Levring (2018) explains, ‘A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ (p. 3).

Integrated into your own sentence

To quote a phrase that doesn’t form a full sentence, you can also integrate it as part of your sentence, without any extra punctuation.

  • A recent poll suggests that EU membership ‘would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ in a referendum (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
  • Levring (2018) reports that EU membership ‘would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters’ in a referendum (p. 3).

When you quote text that itself contains another quote, this is called a nested quotation or a quote within a quote. It may occur, for example, when quoting dialogue from a novel.

To distinguish this quote from the surrounding quote, you enclose it in double (instead of single) quotation marks (even if this involves changing the punctuation from the original text). Make sure to close both sets of quotation marks at the appropriate moments.

Note that if you only quote the nested quotation itself, and not the surrounding text, you can just use single quotation marks.

  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: ‘ ‘ Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, ‘ he told me, ‘ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ‘ ‘ (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: ‘”Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had “  (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: ‘“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had”’ (Fitzgerald 1).
  • Carraway begins by quoting his father’s invocation to ‘remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had’ (Fitzgerald 1).

Note:  When the quoted text in the source comes from another source, it’s best to just find that original source in order to quote it directly. If you can’t find the original source, you can instead cite it indirectly .

Often, incorporating a quote smoothly into your text requires you to make some changes to the original text. It’s fine to do this, as long as you clearly mark the changes you’ve made to the quote.

Shortening a quote

If some parts of a passage are redundant or irrelevant, you can shorten the quote by removing words, phrases, or sentences and replacing them with an ellipsis (…). Put a space before and after the ellipsis.

Be careful that removing the words doesn’t change the meaning. The ellipsis indicates that some text has been removed, but the shortened quote should still accurately represent the author’s point.

Altering a quote

You can add or replace words in a quote when necessary. This might be because the original text doesn’t fit grammatically with your sentence (e.g., it’s in a different tense), or because extra information is needed to clarify the quote’s meaning.

Use brackets to distinguish words that you have added from words that were present in the original text.

The Latin term ‘ sic ‘ is used to indicate a (factual or grammatical) mistake in a quotation. It shows the reader that the mistake is from the quoted material, not a typo of your own.

In some cases, it can be useful to italicise part of a quotation to add emphasis, showing the reader that this is the key part to pay attention to. Use the phrase ’emphasis added’ to show that the italics were not part of the original text.

You usually don’t need to use brackets to indicate minor changes to punctuation or capitalisation made to ensure the quote fits the style of your text.

If you quote more than a few lines from a source, you must format it as a block quote . Instead of using quotation marks, you set the quote on a new line and indent it so that it forms a separate block of text.

Block quotes are cited just like regular quotes, except that if the quote ends with a full stop, the citation appears after the full stop.

To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more. (16)

Avoid relying too heavily on quotes in academic writing . To integrate a source , it’s often best to paraphrase , which means putting the passage into your own words. This helps you integrate information smoothly and keeps your own voice dominant.

However, there are some situations in which quotes are more appropriate.

When focusing on language

If you want to comment on how the author uses language (for example, in literary analysis ), it’s necessary to quote so that the reader can see the exact passage you are referring to.

When giving evidence

To convince the reader of your argument, interpretation or position on a topic, it’s often helpful to include quotes that support your point. Quotes from primary sources (for example, interview transcripts or historical documents) are especially credible as evidence.

When presenting an author’s position or definition

When you’re referring to secondary sources such as scholarly books and journal articles, try to put others’ ideas in your own words when possible.

But if a passage does a great job at expressing, explaining, or defining something, and it would be very difficult to paraphrase without changing the meaning or losing the weakening the idea’s impact, it’s worth quoting directly.

A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.

To present information from other sources in academic writing , it’s best to paraphrase in most cases. This shows that you’ve understood the ideas you’re discussing and incorporates them into your text smoothly.

It’s appropriate to quote when:

  • Changing the phrasing would distort the meaning of the original text
  • You want to discuss the author’s language choices (e.g., in literary analysis )
  • You’re presenting a precise definition
  • You’re looking in depth at a specific claim

Every time you quote a source , you must include a correctly formatted in-text citation . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style .

For example, a direct quote in APA is cited like this: ‘This is a quote’ (Streefkerk, 2020, p. 5).

Every in-text citation should also correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper.

In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quoting should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper.

In social sciences, it varies. If your research is mainly quantitative , you won’t include many quotes, but if it’s more qualitative , you may need to quote from the data you collected .

As a general guideline, quotes should take up no more than 5–10% of your paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.

If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarises other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA  recommends retaining the citations as part of the quote:

  • Smith states that ‘the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus’ (Smith, 2019, p. 4).

Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted.

If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase ‘as cited in’ in your citation.

A block quote is a long quote formatted as a separate ‘block’ of text. Instead of using quotation marks , you place the quote on a new line, and indent the entire quote to mark it apart from your own words.

APA uses block quotes for quotes that are 40 words or longer.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

McCombes, S. & Caulfield, J. (2022, September 03). How to Quote | Citing Quotes in Harvard & APA. Scribbr. Retrieved 24 June 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/working-sources/quoting/

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How to Have a Great Conversation With Just About Anyone

By Josh Smith

Image may contain Clothing Formal Wear Suit Adult Person Wedding Dining Table Furniture Table and Accessories

Over the course of his career as a journalist and podcast host, Josh Smith has had in-depth chats with everyone from Jodie Foster to Jessica Gunning, despite spending much of his childhood too afraid to speak due to a speech impediment. Now, he’s condensed the lessons that helped him morph into a confident professional interviewer into Great Chat , a self-help guide to having better conversations—and improving your wellbeing in the process.

Look around you today, and it’s increasingly obvious that we’ve lost the ability to converse. You flirt with someone on a dating app for weeks—even months—only to meet them in real life and find they have no chat at all. You watch your friends’ lives play out on social media rather than carving out time to catch up in person. As for your relationships with your coworkers? How many times a day do you find yourself saying: “You’re on mute.”

It’s little wonder that loneliness is increasingly becoming a problem. One in four adults now feels very or fairly lonely, and we have fewer friends on average than we did 30 years ago. The World Health Organisation has declared loneliness a global health threat, while the US surgeon general has compared the associated health risks of loneliness with that of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Clearly, it’s time for us all to remind ourselves of the value of simply having a chat with each other.

I know firsthand how transformative mastering the art of conversation can be. As a child growing up in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, I had a speech impediment, which—coupled with the realization that I was gay—brought on plenty of anxiety and bullying. It’s only after I found my voice with the help of a speech therapist that I discovered the confidence to talk to just about anyone, enabling me to carve out the life—and career—I wanted for myself, one that revolves around interviewing celebrities on my podcast, Reign with Josh Smith.

Here, seven tips that helped me improve my conversation skills – and, by extension, my mental health.

Be an active listener, not a passive one

Most of us listen to what someone is saying with the intention of replying rather than truly understanding them better. As a general rule of thumb, try to spend twice as much time listening in a conversation as you do talking. Being an active listener means maintaining eye contact, focusing your mind solely on the person in front of you (never on your phone), and refraining from offering any unsolicited advice. If you feel the urge to interrupt, say something like “I see” or “I understand,” instead.

Check in with your social battery

Know what drains you and what restores you emotionally. No one can have a life-changing heart-to-heart when they’re feeling totally depleted. If your diary is chock-a-block, you owe it to yourself—and everyone else—to reschedule some things. There’s no need to make up an excuse; just say that you have too much on, and would love to meet another time. Equally, if there’s a social event that you’re particularly nervous about—say, going to a wedding alone—conserve your resources beforehand rather than going on a night out/agreeing to host a dinner party/meeting your partner’s parents for the first time. That way, you’ll have the energy to speak to everyone at the event—even the guy from uni you haven’t seen since that awkward sexual encounter 10 years ago.

Ask unexpected questions

Meeting someone for the first time? You’ll leave a far better impression if you ask something quirky instead of talking about the weather. Instead of “What have you been up to lately?”, try “What are you proudest of recently?” Little tweaks to common questions can make them feel more personal, pique someone’s interest, and cause them to dig a little deeper.

Know that difficult conversations can be some of the most rewarding

Being able to address disagreements is key, whether it involves a tricky chat with your boss or clearing the air with a friend you feel has wronged you. Setting up a time to speak in advance will give both of you a chance to prepare what you would like to say. There’s no harm in writing notes to refer back to if you get flustered. If you’re feeling anxious, it’s OK to say that you’re nervous and worried you might say the wrong thing. Make sure you both have ample time to speak, even if that means sitting in silence for a while, and never raise your voice. Remember, you’re not looking to take someone down; you’re doing this to come to a mutual understanding.

Make every space you enter feel like a club toilet at 2 a.m.

Why? Because it’s the ultimate safe space, where everyone’s liberal with compliments and reassurances. The goal when chatting should always be to make everyone feel comfortable and celebrated. Telling people that you love X, Y, or Z about them will make you both feel amazing (just steer clear of focusing on their appearance, as you never know how people feel about the way they look).

Don’t filter yourself

Mindless chatter doesn’t tend to lead to meaningful connections. I used to worry that admitting anything embarrassing or awkward would mean that people would cast me off as damaged social goods. In reality, everyone has something that they feel insecure about and think people will judge them for. Opening up about these things to each other is one of the fastest, most therapeutic ways to bond. People are drawn to authenticity like a magnet; you never have to filter your story.

Start and end strong

How you bookend a conversation is just as important as what’s said. Start by asking someone how they are—not out of habit, but from a place of genuine curiosity—keeping your body language warm and relaxed. And if you’re nervous about how to end the conversation? Go for a simple, “It’s been really great chatting with you; let’s catch up again soon.” It always leaves a positive impression.

Great Chat: Seven Lessons for Better Conversations, Deeper Connections and Improved Wellbeing by Josh Smith (Lagom) is out now

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A woman pulls a religious statue out from among debris. A splintered home and scattered clothing are around her.

2024’s violent tornado season has been one of the most active on record − a meteorologist explains the weather behind the outbreaks

how to quote conversation in an essay

Professor of Atmospheric Science, Iowa State University

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William Gallus receives funding from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Iowa State University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

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Spring 2024 was unnerving for people across large parts of the U.S. as tornado warnings and sirens sent them scrambling for safety.

More than 1,100 tornadoes were reported through May − a preliminary number but nearly twice the 30-year average at that point and behind only 2011 , when deadly tornado outbreaks tore across the southeastern U.S.

The U.S. experienced several multistate outbreaks in 2024. Tornadoes damaged homes from Texas to Minnesota and east to West Virginia and Georgia . They caused widespread destruction in several towns, including Greenfield, Iowa ; Westmoreland, Kansas ; and Bartlesville, Oklahoma . Barnsdall, Oklahoma, was hit twice in two months .

In May, at least one tornado occurred somewhere in the country almost every day .

What causes some years to have so many tornadoes? I’m a meteorologist who studies tornadoes and thunderstorms . Here’s what created the perfect conditions for these violent storms.

2 key tornado ingredients, on steroids

The hyperactive season has been due to an abundance of two key ingredients for tornadoes: wind shear and instability.

The jet stream − a band of strong upper-level winds that mostly blows west to east, flowing between warm air to its south and cool air to its north − plays an important role in how and where weather systems evolve, and in wind shear.

During April and May 2024 , the jet stream often dipped southward in the western U.S. before turning back to the northeast across the Plains. That’s a pattern favorable for producing tornadoes in the central U.S.

A US map shows warm moist air rising from the Gulf of Mexico, the jet stream bending northward into the Great Plains, Tornado Alley from Texas to South Dakota and into Iowa, and cold air to the north and warm air to the south.

In the area east of the jet stream’s southern dip, air rises. That creates a strong low-pressure system, which causes winds near the ground to blow from a different direction than winds higher up, contributing to wind shear.

Making this year even more active, persistent record heat waves were common over Mexico and Texas, while the Rockies and far northern United States stayed cool. The sharp temperature difference created a stronger jet stream than normal, leading to strong changes in wind speed with elevation. As a result, wind shear has been on steroids.

The change in wind speed with elevation can cause air to have a rolling motion . The rapidly rising air in a thunderstorm can then tilt the rolling motion to create a spinning thunderstorm that can concentrate the spin into a tornado.

The Gulf of Mexico was also much warmer than normal , producing abundant heat and moisture that could be transported northward to fuel thunderstorms. That creates atmospheric instability , the other key ingredient for tornadoes.

Chart shows 2024 tornado reports well above the 15-year mean and only below 2011. It's just above 2019 numbers.

El Niño’s weakening was a warning

This perfect combination of ingredients for tornadoes wasn’t a complete surprise.

El Niño and La Niña – opposing climate patterns centered in the Pacific Ocean – can affect winds and weather around the world. A 2016 study found that when El Niño is shifting to La Niña , the number of tornadoes in the central Plains and Upper Midwest is often larger than normal.

That’s exactly what was happening in spring 2024 . The tornadoes mostly occurred in the traditional Tornado Alley, from northern Texas to South Dakota, with an extension across the Corn Belt through Iowa and as far east as Ohio, matching the findings of that study.

How is tornado activity changing?

The active spring in the Great Plains was a bit unusual, however. Studies show a long-term trend of decreasing tornado numbers in this region and an increase in tornadoes farther east , near or just east of the Mississippi River.

That shift is consistent with what climate models suggest is likely to happen throughout the remainder of the century as global temperatures rise.

A U.S. map shows the greatest activity over the Southeast, particularly Louisiana and Alabama.

The expected decline in the number of tornadoes in the Plains is likely related to increasing heat over the high ground of the desert Southwest and Mexico. That heat flows over the Great Plains a few thousand feet above ground, creating a cap, or lid. The cap lets heat and moisture build up until it punches through to form a thunderstorm. This hot, moist air is why the central U.S. is home to the most violent tornadoes on Earth.

One theory is that, with climate change, the cap will likely be harder to break through, reducing the number of tornadoes in the Plains. At the same time, increasing heat and moisture elsewhere will fuel more tornadoes in the East.

Long-term trends and climate model predictions also suggest that more tornadoes are occurring during the cooler months , particularly in the Southeast . Tornadoes are also occurring on fewer days each year, but on the days when they do form, there is more likely to be an outbreak with several tornadoes

  • Climate change
  • Extreme weather
  • Atmospheric science
  • Thunderstorms
  • El Niño Southern Oscillation
  • Extreme storms

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COMMENTS

  1. How do I punctuate quoted dialogue from a novel?

    Using Block Quotes. When quoting dialogue from a novel, set the quotation off from your text as a block if each character's speech starts on a new line in the source. Indent the extract half an inch from the left margin, as you would any block quotation. If a character's speech runs onto a new line, as it does below, indent each line of ...

  2. How To Quote A Dialogue In An Essay

    You need to follow several rules in the quotation: You need to put the quotation marks at the two ends of the dialogue you are referring to. These quotation marks will differentiate your quote from the other sentences in the essay. /li>. Use one single quotation inside the above double marks.

  3. How to Properly to Cite Dialogue in MLA

    3. Place the page number or range in parentheses after the quote. If you haven't mentioned the author in the text of your paper, include their last name first. Then, type only the page number, or the first page of the range and last page of the range, separated by a hyphen. Place a period outside the closing parenthesis.

  4. How to Write a Dialogue in an Essay: The Ultimate Guide

    Dialogue in an essay can be implemented when writing fiction or nonfiction narrative work. As an example, working with (or citing) movies, plays, books or reports, its usage may even become obligatory for greater effect. However, one should not mistake dialogue with academic research necessity to directly quote from journals, books or any other ...

  5. Punctuation Rules for Quotation in Conversation

    Use regular paragraph format for long quotes. Unlike quoting a literary or news source, when you are using conversation, you do not have to indent on the right-hand side for a long quote. You just use the regular paragraph format. Use quotation marks only for the start and end of the quote.

  6. How to Properly Format Dialogue (With Examples)

    Keep dialogue tags behind quotation marks. A dialogue tag is (1) words framing direct speech to convey the context and emotions of a conversation. For example, in ("I can't believe this is you," she replied.), the dialogue tag is "she replied.". Use an ellipsis or em-dashes for pauses or interruptions.

  7. How to Quote

    Citing a quote in APA Style. To cite a direct quote in APA, you must include the author's last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas. If the quote appears on a single page, use "p."; if it spans a page range, use "pp.". An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative.

  8. How to Format Dialogue in APA

    Any citations within the text must be included on the references page at the end of the paper. Very often, dialogue is taken from books, so the author's last name is first, followed by a comma and the author's initials. The publication year is within parentheses. There is a period. Next comes the italicized name of the book in sentence case and ...

  9. How to Write Dialogue in an Essay

    Ms. Jackson asked. Rule 3: If a person in your essay has more than a paragraph of dialogue, use the opening quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph, but use closing quotation marks only at the end of the dialogue. Example: Sarah nodded and said, "I think you're right.

  10. How to Write Dialogue in a Narrative Paragraph

    For American English, periods and commas always go inside your quotation marks, and commas are used to separate your dialogue tag from the actual dialogue when it comes at the beginning of a sentence or in the middle. Here are a few examples: Nancy said, "Let's go to the park today since the weather is so beautiful.".

  11. MLA Formatting Quotations

    For quotations that are more than four lines of prose or three lines of verse, place quotations in a free-standing block of text and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, with the entire quote indented 1/2 inch from the left margin while maintaining double-spacing. Your parenthetical citation should come after the closing ...

  12. Quotations

    Below are four guidelines for setting up and following up quotations. In illustrating these four steps, we'll use as our example, Franklin Roosevelt's famous quotation, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.". 1. Provide context for each quotation. Do not rely on quotations to tell your story for you.

  13. Hooks for Essays

    This dialogue segment is from Malcolm Conner's winning "Modern Love" College Essay, printed just a couple months ago in the New York Times. Without dialogue, he might have said "I fumbled with my words, trying to compliment her," but the dialogue shows his rambling and awkward demeanor instead. Dialogue is an underutilized tool in the ...

  14. How do I quote dialogue that is not in quotation marks?

    Treat such dialogue as you would treat any quoted material: use quotation marks to distinguish the quoted material from your prose, but retain the published formatting within the quotation—for example: Saramago's personification of death signs her name in lowercase letters, a detail that does not escape the prime minister and the cabinet ...

  15. Quotation Marks in Dialogue

    General Usage. Use quotation marks to show that you are writing the exact words that someone said or wrote. "Finally.". My mother rose to her feet. "Your father is home.". Use single quotation marks to enclose a quotation within a quotation. She said, "People who say 'Let me be honest with you' seldom are.". Use quotation marks ...

  16. How do you quote dialogue in an essay?

    3) If to prove your point in your essay you want to quote a whole dialogue exchange, you can treat it as a block quote. For a block quote, you leave off the quotation marks, indent every line of ...

  17. Suggested Ways to Introduce Quotations

    With individualized attention and ongoing support, we help you write a new story for the future where you play the starring role. When you quote another writer's words, it's best to introduce or contextualize the quote. Don't forget to include author's last name and page number (MLA) or author, date, and page number (APA) in your citation.

  18. How to Put a Quote in an Essay (with Pictures)

    If you use the author's name in your lead-in to the quote, you just need to provide the year in parentheses: According to Luz Lopez, "the green grass symbolizes a fresh start for Lia (24).". 2. Include the author's last name, the year, and the page number for APA format. Write the author's name, then put a comma.

  19. How to Quote

    Citing a quote in APA Style. To cite a direct quote in APA, you must include the author's last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas. If the quote appears on a single page, use 'p.'; if it spans a page range, use 'pp.'. An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative.

  20. how do you quote dialogue between two characters in an essay mla

    Finchyy. • 9 yr. ago. "Quote one," verb Person. "Quote two," verb Person2. "Quote three." "Quote four!" If it's between two people, you don't have to keep giving them things like "said John", because it's clear who the conversation is between. Example: "Hello," said John.

  21. Quoting conversation in a Play

    But if you do plan to quote conversation from a play, set the quote up with some context followed by a colon. Then indent all of the lines. The names of the characters are in all caps followed by a period. Additional lines belonging to the same speaker will have the tabbed indent and an additional indent that appears to be about 4 spaces.

  22. How to Have a Great Conversation With Just About Anyone

    As a general rule of thumb, try to spend twice as much time listening in a conversation as you do talking. Being an active listener means maintaining eye contact, focusing your mind solely on the ...

  23. 2024's violent tornado season has been one of the ...

    National Weather Service El Niño's weakening was a warning. This perfect combination of ingredients for tornadoes wasn't a complete surprise.

  24. How To Make Your Presentation Sound More Like A Conversation

    Here are some basic pointers that will help you create a conversational tone when speaking, regardless of the size of your audience. 1. Avoid using the word, "presentation.". Every time you ...