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A felicitously worded or an authoritative quotation can, on occasion, nicely clinch an argument.There is some flexibility in the rule that block quotations are for passages of four lines or more: a shorter passage can be represented as a block quotation if it is important enough to stand on its own.In these two examples, observe the forms of punctuation used to introduce the quotations.
Familiarize yourself with the various verbs commonly used to introduce quotations.
Here is a partial list: Each verb has its own nuance. Vary the way you introduce quotations to avoid sounding monotonous.
Make sure that the nuance matches your specific aims in introducing the quotation. Here are three common phrasings: In the words of ‘s view, . But never sacrifice precision of phrasing for the sake of variety.
Visit the U of T Writing Website’s page on verbs for referring to sources.
Finally, note that you can deviate from the common pattern of introduction followed by quotation.
Weaving the phrases of others into your own prose offers a stylistically compelling way of maintaining control over your source material.
If your quotation is lengthy, you should almost always introduce it with a full sentence that helps capture how it fits into your argument.
If your quotation is longer than four lines, do not place it in quotation marks.
Moreover, the technique of weaving can help you to produce a tighter argument.
The following condenses twelve lines from Arendt’s essay to fewer than two: What Arendt refers to as the “well-known realities of power politics” began to lose their moral legitimacy when the First World War unleashed “the horribly destructive” forces of warfare “under conditions of modern technology” (13).