Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gourmet Touches: Part 2--Quotes

Here's Part 2 of the article on Gourmet Touches--Titles and Quotes.


Quotes are used within the text to support an argument or to illustrate a point being made. Articles that offer advice or are controversial will benefit from quotes. Showing the words of an expert in the field further enhances the argument being put forth.

A quotation is a reference to an authority and should be used when accuracy is essential. That authority should be named. Quoting someone, without giving them credit, verges on stealing their words. Beginning writers sometimes are not aware of this. Even experienced writers occasionally forget to be careful about giving credit to those whose words they use in their own work.

Quotes should be kept to a minimum. Quoting long, rambling paragraphs does not serve any real purpose other than adding to your word count. It's also an easy way to lose a reader who becomes bored with the lengthy quote.

There are two types of quotations—direct and indirect. A direct quotation uses the exact words, and an indirect quotation paraphrases the thought expressed by someone. Both should make reference to the person who originally made the statement. Take a look at the example below which shows a statement made by mystery author, Agatha Christie.

A.     Direct Quote:  Agatha Christie says, “The best time for planning a book is while
you’re doing the dishes.”
B.     Indirect Quote:  Agatha Christie thinks a writer can plan new books while doing
      mundane tasks like doing the dishes.

When using a direct quote, set it off by placing quotation marks at the beginning and end of the statement quoted. The final punctuation mark, whether a period, question mark, or exclamation mark, is placed inside the final set of quotation marks. (See sample above)

In closing, I would like to quote an English author, William Makepeace Thackery, who wrote: “There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen and writes.” If you hope to pursue a successful place in the writing world, add these gourmet touches to your own thoughts as you write.

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