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Skidmore Guide to Writing Index
Quotations--Italicizing for Emphasis


Sometimes when you quote a passage, you want your reader to pay attention to a particular word or phrase. You can italicize that word or phrase when you quote, but you must indicate to your reader that you have added the italics. Here's how to do it:

As late as 1929, Pierre Janet, lecturing on mental illness, connected madness to supernatural superhuman abilities. "In the development of every great religion, both in ancient and in modern times," Janet said, "there have always been strange persons who raised the admiration of the crowd because their nature seemed to be different from human nature" (Janet 8, italics added). This distinction made madness both feared and envied.

Besides the addition of italics, notice how the writer broke the quotation into two parts by interrupting the quoted passage with "Janet said." These interruptions serve well to help you integrate the quoted material into your own writing. Notice, also, that the writer commented upon the italicized terms in the sentence that follows the quotation.

 

Click here to read more about punctuation with quotations.