Quotation Samples


Direct quotations are another person's exact words--either spoken or in print--incorporated into your own writing.

·        Use a set of quotation marks to enclose each direct quotation included in your writing.

·        Use a capital letter with the first word of a direct quotation of a whole sentence. Do not use a capital letter with the first word of a direct quotation of part of a sentence.

·        If the quotation is interrupted and then continues in your sentence, do not capitalize the second part of the quotation.

Mr. and Mrs. Allen, owners of a 300-acre farm, said, "We refuse to use that pesticide

because it might pollute the nearby wells."

Mr. and Mrs. Allen stated that they "refuse to use that pesticide" because of possible

water pollution.

"He likes to talk about football," she said, "especially when the Super Bowl is coming


Indirect quotations are not exact words but rather rephrasings or summaries of another person's words. Do not use quotation marks for indirect quotations.

According to their statement to the local papers, the Allens refuse to use pesticide because of potential water pollution.

Omitted words in a quotation

If you leave words out of a quotation, use an ellipsis mark to indicate the omitted words. If you need to insert something within a quotation, use a pair of brackets to enclose the addition. For example:

full quotation                 The welfare agency representative said, "We are unable to help

                                        every family that we'd like to help because we don't have the funds to do                                             so."

omitted material             The welfare agency representative said, "We are unable to help

with ellipsis                      every family . . . because we don't have the funds to do so."

added material              The welfare agency representative explained that they are "unable

with brackets                to help every family that [they would] like to help."

Long Quotations

            MLA style requires any quote that goes to four lines to be done block style (APA requires block style after 40 words).  Block quotes begin on a new line, indented ten spaces and do not use quotation marks. Notice how the quotes are introduced AND that there is a follow-up to the quote.  The first is APA; the second is MLA.

1.  This method exemplified by those above and many others was a common procedure; it was not until

 the 1960's that scholars began to focus on capturing the performance of the storyteller rather than just

 the story itself.  There are several reasons to consider for the lack of attention to narrative structure.

 First, as Tedlock points out, there were no tape recorders to aid the field worker who was more likely to

 be interested in content rather than style since the substance was the story, not the manner in which it

 was told (Finding the Center 37).  Also, without the tape recorder, the field worker was forced to

 repeatedly stop the storyteller in order to write out the dictation, which hampered any possibility of

 hearing the normal pauses and breaks (“Translation” 29).  Second, many believed that style was

 untranslatable anyway.  Both Boas and A. L. Kroeber believed that the literary form was a property of

 the native language and hence, could not be rendered into English.  As Arnold Krupat discusses in "On

 the Translation of Native American Song and Story: A Theorized History," translators had to recognize

 that native languages were both like and unlike European languages (8).  He states:        

        All English translations from Native language performances cannot help but place    

         themselves in relation to Western conceptions of art (literature) or of (social)  science as they

          inevitably privilege either the Sameness of Native American verbal expression in forms aspiring 

          to what is accessibly recognizable as literary, or its Difference, in forms committed to scientific  

          authenticity and accuracy.  (8)

Most did not look for the similarity in the native language and only perceived the dissimilarity and

 proceeded to make the narrative appear as the audience would expect.

2. George and Shoos pose two questions concerning the teacher’s role in this type of class that seem

 to suggest that silence may be due to the teacher’s position:

How do we, as composition instructors using a cultural studies approach, design our classes so

 that we do not judge our students’ positions by how closely they mimic our own?  How do we

 set up true ‘communication and dialogue’ as Friere suggests we must if real education is to

 take place?     (206-07) 

They suggest choosing texts for study that we find perturbing or disturbing so that meaning is as

 unstable for us as it is for our students.  In those texts, instead of looking for definitive answers to the

 questions we pose about the text, we need to explore how cultural forms and subjectivity play a role in

 that text (207-9).

Quote with a change from the original (MLA)

3.       One of the more prevalent problems of teaching with a cultural studies approach is that in encouraging students to critique their culture, they may misunderstand our intentions and believe that we are either asking them to discard their experiences as trivial or to conform to our way of thinking about those experiences.  This perception would surely cause some students to remain silent rather than challenge us.  George and Shoos note that “asking students to become critical readers of their culture does not mean demanding that they reject that culture” (201).  They further note, “[I]f we judge our students’ work by whether or not they come to the same conclusions as we do, we not only send them conflicting messages about their own worth as thinkers but also insure our own failure as teachers” (201).  Thus, it is plausible that part of the silence we encounter comes from students who mistakenly believe we want them to conform to our beliefs, so we must guard against sending that message.

Other samples in MLA

4.       Tedlock has employed the former criteria in translating Zuni narratives.  He felt "unhappy with the flat prose format which had always been used in presenting" field narratives (xviii).  So as he listened to taped oral performances, he worked out a mode of presentation which combined the poetic with the dramatic features.

5.       These elements combined with the narrative form mark a pattern Hymes identifies as form-meaning covariation.  He states that "while certain elements regularly serve to mark verses, this role is dependent upon the organization of the whole" (440).  So one of the particles may occur with its normal lexical meaning and would not indicate a narrative pattern.

6.       The narrative particle that occurs the least number of times is higú 'still, now, yet'; twice it occurs with zhige 'again' and twice without any suffixes.  Its function seems to refer to the progression of events through narrative time, much like White described its use in referring "to the arrival of the present section which continues the story" (Winnebago Narratives 17).  In the first occurrence of higú-zhige, it begins a new verse, and here, it refers back to an action that is now to be repeated.

7.       White has stated that zheegú refers to "that which has continued going by," indicating that zheegú is some kind of marker of connection (“Trickster” 54).  In some cases, it clearly does mark a connection.

Works Cited

Danker, Kathleen A.  “Because of This I am Called the Foolish One: Felix White, Sr.'s,

            Interpretations of the Winnebago Trickster.”  New Voices in Native American Literary

            Criticism  Ed. Arnold Krupat.  Smithsonian Series of Studies in Native American

              Literatures.  Washington: Smithsonian Institute Press, 1993.  505-528.

Danker, Kathleen A.   The Winnebago Narratives of Felix White, Sr.: Style,

Structure and  Function.  Diss.  U of Nebraska.  Lincoln, Nebraska. 1985.

Grimes, Barbara F., Ed.  The Ethnologue.  13th  ed. 1996. 8 Nov. 1998

<http://www.sil.org/ ethnologue/countries/USA.html#WIN>.

Holy Bible.   Revised Standard Version.  Thomas Nelson & Sons: Camden, New

Jersey. 1946.

Lipkind, William.   A Grammar of Winnebago.  New York: King's Crown Press. 1945

Radin, Paul.   The Road of Life and Death.   1945.  Bollingen Series V.  Princeton, NJ:

Princeton U Press. 1973.

Tedlock, Dennis.  Finding the Center: Narrative Poetry of the Zuni Indians.  New York:

The Dial Press. 1972.

Tedlock, Dennis.  “On the Translation of Style in Oral Narrative.”  Smoothing the

Ground:  Essays on Native American Oral Literature.  Ed. Brian Swann.  Berkeley, CA:

U of California Press, 1983.  57-77.