The primary function of quotation marks is to represent the exact language (either spoken or written) that has come from somebody else.
To cite a definition within the text, you would place the defined word and the publication date in parentheses after the relevant phrase and before the punctuation mark. If the definition is quoted, you must also add the page number.
If a quote is taken verbatim from another author, it must be identified typographically. Quotation marks are used to include character dialogue in fiction.
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Different types of quotes in nonfiction writing
It is essential to cite the source whenever you use words from another person. This will prevent plagiarism. For example, let’s say you’re writing an essay on Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale. You will refer to the third page of the book in your essay. It is possible to quote directly from the passage (a direct quote). You can include a passage without leaving out words by simply inserting quotation marks around the passage and a page citation to allow the reader to find it in The Handmaid’s Tale.
Example: “We slept inside what was once the gymnasium.”
You can use an ellipsis to indicate that you haven’t used all the author’s words.
Example: “We slept in. . . The gymnasium”
An indirect or paraphrased quotation is another option. This is when you use your words to communicate the general meaning of another person’s words. Quotations are not required for indirect or paraphrased quotes. Paraphrasing information is best done with a citation.
Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale describes the main character’s dormitory. It was once a gymnasium.
A block quote should be used if a quoted section of text exceeds 100 words (about six to eight lines per page). Blockquotes can be arranged as separate paragraphs, with indented margins at the right and left. Because a block quote is physically separate from the main text, you don’t have to use quotation marks.
Quotation Marks in Discourse & Dialogue
Quotations should indicate direct discourse and dialogue in fiction and nonfiction writing. The words and punctuation of the speaker should only be enclosed. The author’s words (such he said, he asked) shouldn’t be.
Example: He said, “Don’t be silly!” “I wouldn’t have said such an absurd thing!”
Gandhi stated, “You must be a change you want to see in this world.”
Some discourse can’t be spoken aloud. You can choose to use quotation marks when quoting thoughts from a character or not, depending on your preference.
When the author interrupts a sentence, it is unnecessary to use a capital letter.
Example: “The problem,” he stated, “is that the child hates bananas.”
If the speech is long and spans several paragraphs, it’s unnecessary to close the quotation marks in between paragraphs. Instead, reopen them as the next paragraph begins. Instead, use open quotes (“”) at the beginning and end of each paragraph until your speech is over.