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How to to quote correctly

You probably found lots of quotable text during your research for your essay or report. However, you need to make sure that the quotes you use are not taken out of context and that they either support you argument or that they are relevant to your discussion if you are arguing against the position taken by the author of the quoted text. This is important. Don't pepper your writing with quotes just because you found something you thought was usable and you need to slot something in.

Your quotations should also be part of the flow of your text. That means they should be introduced with some kind of signal phrase Go to the How to use Signal Phrases page. If they are not introduced properly it makes it harder for the reader to see the relevance of your quotation and how it relates you your argument. This type of quote is known as a dropped quote See the glossary definition .

Your quotation also needs a citationWhere did you get this information? See the glossary definition , which tells the reader where you found it, and a corresponding reference in your list of references. You should use a reference tool Go to the How to keep track of your sources page to organise this, speed up your work, avoid referencing mistakes, and keep track of your sources.

If the quoted text is less than 40 words long it should be part of the normal flow of your text, like this:

According to Douglas and Lord (2020), "Spinoza would have recognised the desire not to listen to dissenting views as a species of ambition".

If the quoted text is 40 words long or more it should be formatted differently as a block quote, without quotation marks and indented by 0.5 in. from the left margin (APA specifications), like this:

Douglas and Lord (2020) claim that:

Refusing to hear an argument and seeking to silence it is a mild form of no-platforming, motivated not by the desire to quash free speech, but by ambition. Our failure to share in the political feelings of others leads them to experience a loss of power, and they respond by attacking the cause of the loss. Ambition makes rational debate impossible, even when our freedom to speak remains perfectly intact.
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