Photo of horse bearing its teeth in something like a sneer

Source: Horse's mouth, Brandinian, Wikimedia

When you’re writing an essay or research paper, you often want to support your points with the written or spoken words of someone else. There are two ways to do this. You can refer to that source’s words with either a direct quotation (the straight-from-the-horse’s-mouth approach) or an indirect quotation (the paraphrase approach). In this lesson, we will focus on the correct methods for using both kinds of quotations. We will also go a step further and explore how properly written direct quotations can fall into one of three categories—acceptable, better, or best—depending on how skillfully you embed them into your writing. And since you will certainly want to avoid plagiarism, we will also discuss how to properly document your sources with in-text citations.

Please note that we will use “quote” as a verb in the lesson, i.e., “Stanley will quote from the poem.” We will use “quotation” as a noun, i.e., “The quotation was printed in italics,” except in the term “quotation marks.”