Thompson Rivers University

How to Introduce Quotations

  Posted on: April 5, 2016

by Jessica Messerer-Trosin

Quotations are one of the most important parts of your paper. Not only do they provide evidence to support your thesis, but they also show that you have done your research.

Here are four ways to introduce your quotes:

  1. Use a full sentence (independent clause) followed by a colon.

Benjamin Franklin inspired others with his words: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

2. Begin a sentence with your own words, and then finish it with a quote to create an independent clause.

Benjamin Franklin encouraged others to “either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

3. Introduce the quote with the following structure: Author + verb + comma + independent clause in quotations.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

4. Use an introductory phrase + Author name + comma + independent clause in quotations.

According to Edward Bulwer-Lytton, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

When your quote is properly introduced, you are on the right track to using it effectively.

Here is something else to keep in mind about quotes: Explain the significance of the quote you use. How does it contribute to the argument that you are making? Include a comment on the quote to give additional insight to the reader. When you analyze the quote, you are more likely to get a higher grade.

Also, quotes should not make up the majority of your paper. If possible, keep quotes to less than 20% of your text – depending on the type of essay you are assigned.

Lastly, do not forget to cite your quotations.