How to quote a book in an essay can be a tricky art but for sure is a great way to support the ideas with rock solid proofs, that you require to support the thesis or essay.
To be able select a good quote, try to find a passage that has the argument like yours and is open to go into an analysis. Try to assimilate that quote into the essay written by you, and ensure the proper cite is given to it based on the style guide you opt to use.
Let’s check out some worthy points to be considered while quoting a book in an essay.
How to Quote a Book in an Essay : Incorporating a Short Quote
Incorporate short quotes into a sentence.
A short quote which can be shorter than 4 typed lines. While using a short quote, try to include it without any editing in the paragraph, beside your own words. To help the reader go through the quote and the reason why you’re using it, you may write a full sentence that incorporates the quote than just picking up a sentence from other person’s work and pasting it into your paper.
Use a lead-in to make an introduction to the quote.
The lead-in gives context to the quote. It helps the reader to know that you’re reflecting an evidence and putting it up as a support, as well as acknowledging the quote and its place from where that support comes from. Generally, you will be using the author’s name, but this thing is not at all always necessary.
Put quotation marks around the quote.
You must use quotation marks every time you paste or quote someone else’s words in your own essay. This helps the reader know about your action that you have borrowed from some other writer. As long as you use quotation marks and cite the resource from where you have taken the sentence or matter, you can use other person’s thoughts without any plagiarizing. You still require to put quotation marks although you are only quoting just a few words for the other source. Rather it is the best practice to be cautious and use quotes if you’re in doubt.
Use commentary followed by a quote explaining its support to the essay
A quote must be support your ideas. For this purpose, you are required to analyze it and link it back to the work or thesis. After the quote, write at least 1-3 sentences as an explanation what the quote means, how does it support your essay/topic/sentence, and how it support is providing to your argument in totality.
Paraphrase the quote.
Paraphrasing is done while you restate someone else’s thoughts in your own thoughts and words. It’s the best way to incorporate proofs into the paper without using a direct quote any time. You are not required to use quotes around a paraphrase, you actually require to cite it. Whenever you put a paraphrase, you still require to put commentary that joins the paraphrased thought back to your work, essay and ideas.
How to Quote a Book in an Essay : Using a Long Quote
Introduce a long quote.
A long quote can be anything that goes more than 4 typed lines. You have to put these quotes in a block of text in a separate block from the rest of your essay. Because the quote is separated in a block, you need not put quotation marks around it. The reader will automatically understand that the material is a direct quote from somewhere because it’s separate from the rest of the text. That is the reason why you need not use quotation marks. But, you will definitely write and include the citation at the bottom of the essay.
Always write an introductory lead-in.
To tell the reader that a quote is just going to follow and what the quote is about, it is most necessary to introduce the quote. For a block quote, the lead-in can be a whole sentence explaining what the reader should take as a meaning after reading and understanding the block quote. At the end of the sentence, put a colon. After that put your block quote. While citing two or more paragraphs, you should use block quotes. It dose not depend upon the length of the quote like if the passage you wish to quote is less than four lines long. You must indent the initial line of each paragraph an extra quarter inch and use ellipses (…) at the end of one paragraph to help the transition to the next paragraph.
Indent the block quote.
The perfect indentation can be to indent it by .5 inches (1.3 cm) from the left margin. For this you may use simple steps like, press the tab key to move the lines over. Ensure the entire quote is indented so that the reader can recognize that it’s set off as a separate thing from the rest of the essay. Your block quote should use the same line spacing as the rest of the essay, which is in most cases likely be double-spacing.
Use an ellipsis to cut a word/words from a direct quote.
Sometimes you just wish to shorten a quote to help the reader better understand why it is supporting the argument or you may just wish to delete some words that are non-essential to the quote’s meaning. To delete word/words, you are just required to put an ellipsis (…) instead of the words. But don’t eliminate words to expedite something fishy like changing the meaning of the original text.
Place brackets around words for clarification.
Sometimes you are required to put word/words to a quote in order to help your reader to understand it. This is helpful for you to explain pronouns used in the direct quote or further explaining what a quote is actually referring to. Brackets help you to add or delete or replace words until and unless you don’t portray the quote with a changed meaning of the text.
Give commentary after a quote to explain.
A block quote needs more commentary than a short quote. At least you must write 2-3 sentences explaining and analyzing the quote, trying to link it back to your essay. However, you may require to put longer commentary to fully justify and explain the quote to the reader of your essay. If you don’t clarify the quote well, then it’s not helping the essay or ideas. You must not expect the reader to build a connection to the quote back to your essay for you.
Paraphrase the quote to condense it.
Paraphrasing is a great way to shorten a long quote in your essay. Unless the author’s original words are essential to make your point, you may rewrite the passage in your own set of words. You must try to condense or shorten the original author’s words into 1 or 2 sentences that support your argument. Then, incorporate the paraphrase into the paragraph, without using quotation marks. However, you must include a citation to give your reader a chance know where you got those ideas from.
How to Quote a Book in an Essay : Citing Your Quote
Cite the author’s last name & page number in parentheses in MLA.
Write out the author’s last name, then list the numerical page number. You are not required to set them separate with a comma, and you are required to put “p.” or “page” before the page number. An MLA citation must look like this:
- (Lopez 24)
- For sources with multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Anderson and Smith 55-56) or (Taylor, Gomez, and Austin 89)
- If you use the author’s name in the lead-in to the quote, you are just required to put the year in parentheses: According to Arc Lopez, “the yellow grass gives a feel of a fresh start for Lia (24).”
Include the author’s last name, year, & page number for APA format.
Write the author’s name, then put a comma, add the year and put another comma. Finally, write “p.” followed by the page number. An APA citation for a direct quote looks like this:
- (Tanon, 2019, p. 10)
- If you’re citing multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Well, Hanks, and Timothy, 2019, p. 85)
- If you incorporated the author’s name into the lead-in, you can just refer to the year and page number: Based on Tanon’s (2019, p. 10) analysis, “coffee improves creativity.”
Use the author’s last name, date, and page number for Chicago Style.
List the author’s last name and then the date, but don’t put a comma between them. After the date, put a comma and then the page numbers. You don’t need to write “p.” or “page.” For instance, a Chicago Style citation will look like this:
- (Alexandra 2016, 125)
- If you’re quoting a source with multiple authors, separate them with the word “and:” (Patrick, Stewart, and Gobble 2016, 175)
- If you have already incorporated the author’s name into the quote, then you may just provide the year and page number: According to Alexander, “the smell of roses deepens happiness” (2016, 125).
Prepare a Works Cited or References page.
Each style guide has its own requirements for listing your reference sources, so make sure you follow the style guide you’re using to format your paper.
- For MLA, you would cite an article like this: Lopez, Reg. “A Fresh Blossom: Symbol of ‘Her Brightest Sunshine.'” Journal of Stories, vol. 2, no. 5, 2014, p. 15-22.
- In APA, you’d cite an article like this: Lopez, Reg. (2014). A Fresh Blossom: Symbol of “Her Brightest Sunshine.” Journal of Stories, 2(5), 15-22.
- For Chicago Style, your article citation would look like this: Lopez, Reg. “A Fresh Blossom: Symbol of ‘Her Brightest Sunshine.'” Journal of Stories 2 no. 4 (2014): 15-22.
How to Quote a Book in an Essay : Selecting a Quote
Select a quote that supports the argument you’re introducing.
The quote should stand as an “evidence” for what you wish the reader to believe. This might can be anything from an expert advice, study inferences or results, or data statistics. If you’re putting something about literature, you can directly quote from the text to explain a point or quote the words of a critic to support the claims about a text.
Ensure the quote is something you can analyze and undertsand.
You would never wish to just drop a quote in the essay and keep writing. This will never going to help you support the arguments, as you link the quote back to your own writings. Without any proper analysis, you can’t make the point that you may explain to the reader. If you are not able to explain the quote or sentence or link it back to your essay, then it will never be a good idea to put it in your essay.
Avoid over usage of direct quotes in your essay.
As you put a lot of direct quotes, the essence of your own thoughts and ideas will be lost somewhere in between those quotes and everything will look more of a copy and paste article. This may be taken as undermining your own argument and losing credibility with the reader. It is advisable not to use more than 1 direct quote in your paragraph. It would rather be advisable to use a paraphrase or a summary to support your thoughts. Paraphrases and summaries work just like a direct quote leaving that you are not required to put quotation marks around them as you prefer using your own words to restate thoughts. However, you still, are required to cite the sources you utilized.
Hope you must have got quick pro tips on how to quote a book in an essay so that you also start writing and improving upon your essays.