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Skidmore Guide to Writing Index
Short Quotations


Use quotation marks and incorporate quoted material within your own sentence. Short quotations, up to four typed lines of text, should be worked into the fabric of your own language. Make sure a sentence containing a quotation reads fluently and is correct grammatically. Use quotation marks to indicate which words, phrases or passages come directly from a source, as in the following two examples:

     Ernest Becker writes, "The process of socialization is characterized by one fundamental and recurring fact: the child's natural urge to move freely forward, to manipulate, experiment, and exercise his own assimilative powers is continually blocked" (58).

Note: Use a comma after an introductory phrase such as "Ernest Becker writes." Notice, also, that the parenthetical citation comes after the end quotation mark.

     Ernest Becker writes that "the process of socialization is characterized by one fundamental and recurring fact: the child's natural urge to move freely forward, to manipulate, experiment, and exercise his own assimilative powers is continually blocked" (58).

Note: When the introductory phrase ends in "that" you do not use a comma before the quotation.

Often, you do not need to include a whole sentence from a source if all you want to quote is a word or phrase. Select quoted material carefully so that you control the sentence.

     Socialization involves continually blocking and frustrating "the child's natural urge to move freely forward, manipulate, experiment, and exercise his own assimilative powers" (Becker 58).


Click here to read more about punctuation with quotations.