Go through your essay and highlight or underline all the content you quote from outside sources. Then, try to identify how you both introduce and explain the quote (think “quote sandwich”).
- Do you properly introduce important sources with signal tags, and/or brief summaries of what the source is talking about?
- If not, how can you better place the quote within your paper?
- Do you explain what the quote means and why it’s important to what you want to say?
- If you follow a quote with “this,” “that,” or “what he/she is saying is,” rewrite the passage in a separate document in a way that more clearly interprets what your source says.
- If you don’t follow the quote with any interpretation of it, rewrite the passage in a separate document in a way that better integrates the quote
- Do you properly cite and format the quote? Do you include the author’s name in parentheses if it does not appear in your signal tag?
- Integrating a quote without mentioning the author’s name. EXAMPLE: While trying to identify why college-age voters are drawn to both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, we might consider that “establishment Democrats and Republicans are progressively thought to be bought out by lobbies and big business” (Friedersdorf 8). By defining themselves as both anti-establishment, Sanders and Trump have both attempted to appear genuine in their positions by highlighting that they have not been influenced by outside money.
- Integrating a quote with an author’s name. EXAMPLE: While children may not pursue romantic relationships before the age of 10, psychologist Paulina Demetriou at the University of Texas-Austin points out the importance of training children to be respectful lovers at a very young age: “Children should be well-versed in the rights and wrongs of a loving romantic relationship from a very young age (3-6) to prevent them from entering abusive relationships farther down the road” (55). Though parents may feel uncomfortable speaking to their children about their future relationships when they are young children, as Demetriou points out, conversations about right and wrong behavior in a relationships will help them build healthier, less destructive bonds with loved ones throughout their adult lives.
- Using a block quote (while you should avoid them, you should block any quote that is longer than five lines of text). EXAMPLE: Many people have recently pointed out that GMO labeling, rather than help consumers make wiser decisions with regard to their diets, would actually distract them from nutrition labels and ingredient lists. As the editors of Scientific American point out:
Instead of providing people with useful information, mandatory GMO labels would only intensify the misconception that so-called Frankenfoods endanger people’s health. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Health Organization and the exceptionally vigilant European Union agree that GMOs are just as safe as other foods.
Thus, as there is no evidence to suggest GMOs are inherently more dangerous than non-GMOs, we should look for other ways to encourage consumers to make healthier choices when deciding what foods to buy.