When are direct quotes used, and how?

What is meant by direct quote?

A direct quote can be defined in a number of ways. It is basically the reporting of the exact and the specific words, phrases or sentences of any author, speaker etc that are used in the speech or writing of any other speaker or writer. It is a rather common tool in the academic world and serves several purposes at the same time. A direct quote is generally placed inside the double quotation marks. However, a direct quote does not always necessarily contain just words. It may also contain images, original thoughts, ideas etc of any creator that the current author might use in his or her work according to the relevance. Moreover, a direct quote can be of two types based on their length and quoted part. These are as follows:

  • Short Quotes: When the direct quotes are short comprising of few words, phrases or at most two to three sentences, it is called a short quote.
  • Long Quotes: When the direct quotations exceed three sentences and at times even stretches to passages or paragraphs, it is referred to as a long quote.

When and where are the direct quotes used

The direct quotes, which are no doubt one of the necessary tools in an academic writing, are used in a number of cases, of course, selectively in order to produce the maximum result. Some of the situations and reasons where direct quotes are used in a research paper or custom term paper or in any text writing by an academic writer are as follows:

  • As a textual reference and evidence: The direct quotes are often used to prove a certain textual point or to draw a textual reference for the readers as an evidence of the writer’s point.
  • To strengthen the academic writer’s argument or point: Direct quotes are at times used to support and drive home an academic writer’s argument or point of view.
  • To make a certain point more interesting and powerful: A plain text can be made interesting by including some direct quotes which would both add variety and power to the otherwise simple text.
  • As the source of a specific data: When a specific information or data is mentioned in a text, it seems rather more appropriate to directly quote from the source to make it more convincing.
  • To show how a certain figure spoke or reacted in a certain situation: It might interest the readers to know how a certain figure, be it a historical or a present one, acted or spoke on a subject or in a certain situation.
  • To re-emphasize the academic writer’s intentions: Direct quotes also serve the purpose of re emphasizing the writer’s points and opinions and thus act as a convincing vehicle for the readers.
  • To simply provide and illustrate a crucial example: A direct quote helps in the better understanding of the readers as being a form of example for the topic or point in question.
  • To say something that cannot be better said: Many a time, a direct quote act as the best language for a particular text or view when there can be no better substitute language or words to express that point or opinion.
  • For the readers’ close analysis of any topic or point: With a direct quote, the readers are at once ready for a close analysis of the particular topic and find it easy to relate to the actual topic.

Few Examples of the Proper Uses of Direct Quotes

The direct quotes are today extensively used in both the academic and the professional world, much to the ease of the academic writers, the research scholars, the professionals and at times even the high school students for their term papers or assignments. Now, a few examples would probably make the proper and effective uses of the direct quotes more clear and comprehensive. Some of those examples are as listed below:

  • “She quoted from a letter [E.B.] White wrote in 1981: ‘You might be amused to know that Strunk and White was adapted for a ballet production recently. I didn’t get to the show, but I’m sure Will Strunk, had he been alive, would have lost no time in reaching the scene.” (Jeremy Eichler, “Style Gets New Elements,” The New York Times, October 19, 2005)
  • “Never alter any quotation even in order to correct minor grammatical errors or word usage. Casual minor tongue slips may be removed by using ellipses but even that should be done with extreme caution.” (‘Quotations in the News’, The Associated Press Stylebook, 2008)
  • “In the first place, the general convention in the sciences and social sciences is that we use direct quotations as little as possible. In the humanities, direct quoting is more important–certainly where you are talking about a literary source.” (Becky Reed Rosenberg, “Using Direct Quotations,” Writing Center at the University of Washington, Bothell)

How to Use Direct Quotes Effectively

It is very important to keep in mind the proper and appropriate of any tool to create the bet effect I an academic writing, especially when it carries credits. Thus knowing the effective uses of the direct quotes is also a necessary thing. Some of the basic rules and methods where a direct quote can be used effectively are as below:

  • As or in a definition or a part of the definition
  • In order to state a law, theory, hypothesis, rule, principle, regulation etc
  • To indicate a particular term or expression coined or created by a certain figure (author, speaker etc)
  • To highlight a particularly powerful, controversial or otherwise important phrase, sentence or statement by some other figure.

One of the most crucial things to be kept in mind here is that in case of a direct quote it is always very important to indicate the page number/s with the citation or reference that might contain the direct quotation. The direct quotes can be included or incorporated in a text in primarily two main methods. These ways are as follows:

  • In order to carry on a grammatical continuation in a particular sentence.

E.g.: A variable cost “is one which varies directly with changes in the level of activity over a defined period of time.” (Peirson and Ramsay, 1996, p: 693).

  • As a definition or an example after the ‘as follows’ part of the writing.

E.g.: Haskin (1996, p. 29) offers the following definition: “empowerment is the process which allows for ethical decision making by all organisation members….”

Why it is significant to do in-text citation?

What is meant by in text citation?

In the world of academic writing and references, in text citation is a very common and vital aspect. It is that tool which provides the readers with enough information within the essay or academic writing itself thus enabling them an access to the full source and information about the referred item cited at the end of the book or the academic essay.  It is commonly used for any kind of citing, any and all kind of quotation, paraphrases and summaries and is generally contained within the parentheses at the end of the passage or sentence where the citation is made. It is universally acknowledged and used as an easy and convenient form of referencing, and has made its way into some of the most popular reference style patterns in today’s academic world.

The primary features and characteristics

The in text citation has become so popular due to some of its basic easy features and characteristics which make the process of citation far more convenient both for the readers and the academic writer. Some of the primary features and aspects of the in text citations are as follows:

  • It acts as a signpost signaling the location of an academic writer’s source
  • It provides full and proper attribution and credit to the referred author or creator, in a bigger sense.
  • The in text citation is quite a flexible style and is used commonly in ways as the necessity demands, sometimes within brackets and sometimes as a note citation.
  • It comes in a number of citing styles according to the order of appearance of the author name, date of publication, page number etc.
  • It is extensively used in several referencing styles like the APA, MLA, Chicago style etc thus rendering it a mass popularity.
  • This type of citation is mostly used in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • It can be made anywhere within the academic text and there is no rule at all for making the citation; it can be there after the completion of a sentence, a passage or even just a phrase.

Few examples of this type of citation

A few examples on the uses and formats of the in text citation would probably make the whole thing clear. They have been widely used and therefore taken from various sources and field of literature, Humanities, social studies etc. Some of the basic examples of the in text citations are as listed below:

  • In APA format: E.g. Schuller (2005) found in a study that young people and children before the age of three who were habituated to watching television more than five hours a day were in fact twice as likely to show evidences and signs of ADHD and ADD than those in their teen or adolescent years, a study that actually “places serious health burdens on the television industry” (26).
  • Without Signal Phrase: E.g. The experts have made it very clear over the years that the organic beef ranching industry along with the other organic farming ventures, have all been thoroughly corrupted by the incessant and un unending thought of money making and profit (Kummer 123).
  • Parenthetical citation: “Oftentimes the APA style can be confusing to first-time users” (Thomason, 2002, p. 199).
  • Work by 3- 5 authors: E.g. ‘The reference’ (Reverte, Islip, Montague, James, & Ditto, 2011)
  • Work by 6 or more writers or creators: Name of first author is used followed by an et al. E.g. (James et al., 2012)
  • Work by unknown author/s: E.g. A similar approach was used in measuring the total amount of the refracted light (“Refracting Light,” 2011).
  • Indirect Quotation: If one is quoting from another quoted source, then the second source is generally mentioned. E.g. Johnson argued that “sea cockles are more delicious” than any other sea food item (as cited in Smith, 2003, p. 102).

What is the significance of in text citation?

The significance of the in text citation in the academic world are indeed manifold and truly deserve mention due to its various advantages and benefits, which come both for the academic writer and the readers as well. Few of such significance of the in text citations are mentioned below:

  • It allows the readers to fully comprehend and verify a cited source: This is very important for an academic work to be praised. A good citation and a good comprehension by the readers can take a work mile ahead.
  • It shows evidence on the writer’s part of a good research and study on the particular subject or topic: It proves the present author’s wide range of research and study and provides credibility to his or her thoughts and points of argument.
  • It is the basis of the academic world: Since ideas are widely considered the currency of academia, it is only natural that any author would expect credit for his contribution and denying someone that would be like denying someone his money’s worth which is universally considered a cheating. Thus in text citation enables writers to acknowledge credit for every small references they make in their academic essay or research paper.
  • It shows respectability and a good geniality: It advances gentleman like behavior enhancing the respectability of both the writer and the referred author, and thus helps to maintain peace in the academic world
  • A proper citation can be the making of a good academic writing: A rich in text citation helps the writer to upgrade the standard of his academic essay which can fetch him good reviews and praises for his efforts and studies.
  • It helps in supporting and in progressing the writer’s point: It helps in carrying forward an argument or a point on the writer’s part and thus upgrades his academic writing or essay.
  • It makes the readers aware of the various works on the particular topic or subject: It offers the readers to follow up the works of the referred authors in case they are not acquainted to those.