Thursday, February 14, 2013

Quotes and Quotation Marks

A discussion of quotation marks includes using quotes in your writing, so today, here's a little bit about both. If you want a full discussion on quotation marks, check out this article.

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 credit verges on stealing their words. Beginning writers sometimes are not aware of this.

Quotes should be kept to a minimum. Quoting long, rambling paragraphs does not serve any real purpose other than adding to your word count.

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 Both should make reference to the person who originally made the statement.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 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 Thackeray, 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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