Integrating Quotations Smoothly into Text



If you get tired of stating over and over again that "Jones says'. . .’”, try some of the following variations. They work equally well with direct quotations or paraphrases, and when combined with a bit of basic information about the source of your material, they kill two birds with one stone by both introducing and crediting your information (often eliminating the need for a parenthetical citation), as in this example:


Jones notes in the November 2002 issue of Psychology Today that ". . . .


Other suggested variations:

            Jones found in _____________ that . . .         ,

            "           demonstrates  “           “           “          

            "           reports                         "           "           "

            "           suggests         “           “           “

            "           observes         “           “           “

            "           asserts                        "           "           "          

            -"           emphasizes    “           "           "

            "           declares          "           "           "

            "           holds               "           "           "

            "           maintains        "           “           “


In his controversial book, The Naked Ape, Desmond Morris

            argues that....



            suggests.... .



In a 2001 (book, “article,” or whatever) entitled . . . , So-and-so examines the subject of catfish and observes that. . . .


According to Jones,  . . .

In Jones' view . . . .     

               opinion,. . . .

               estimation,. . . .


Jones contradicts this view in a 2003 Saturday Review essay in which he argues that . . .

However, Jones maintains that. . . .

Although Jones opines that . . . , Smith suggests another theory:. . . .


A (book, “article,”” essay, “”speech,” etc.) by Jones, which is (summarized, referred to, alluded to, mentioned, included in a discussion) in one of Joe Moholzer’s New York Times’ editorials makes the point that . .  . .


As reported by Jones in the October 22, 1968 Seattle Post-Intelligencer, . . . .


Integrating Quotations Smoothly into Text

There are three main ways to TIE quotations smoothly into text:

“T” tag

"You brute.  You brute," Holden mutters as he leaves the compound where he and Ameera have spent many happy hours.


"Secretly, of course--I was all for the Burmese," Orwell confides.


“I”            introduce


As Holden leaves the compound where he and Ameera have spent many happy hours, he mutters, "You brute.  You brute."


Orwell confided he "was all for the Burmese."


“E”            embed


Holden mutters, "You brute.  You brute," as he leaves the compound where he and Ameera have spent many happy hours.


Orwell was "all for the Burmese" and hated working as an agent of the British Empire in Burma .


Generally, long quotations are to be avoided.  When a long quotation is absolutely essential (generally, only in a formal paper), it should be set off from the text. Still, it is important to introduce the quotation.  Usually "set off" text is preceded by a colon:


George Orwell had a difficult time acting as a police officer in Lower Burma .  As demonstrated in the following excerpt from (title of “essay,”) he was frustrated by his conflicting need to maintain law and order while remaining faithful to the idea that the Burmese had the right to be free:

All this was perplexing and upsetting.  For at that time I had already made up my mind that imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the Better.  Theoretically--and secretly, of course--I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British.


Notice when quotations are set off from text they do not require quotation marks. Indent each line of the quote 10 spaces from the left margin (15 when starting a new paragraph). Right margin remains the same as the body of the paper.  Spacing is the same as the body of the paper.


All quotations must be tied to text!  Do not simply sprinkle them in like confetti.  Smooth integration is the mark of a mature writer and makes a paper flow.


This handout is adapted from a handout by Michelle Garbis of Stoneham Douglas High School in Florida, 2003.

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