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									                                                                                                  ENG 4U
                                                                                 Integrating Quotations #1

                   Integrating Quotations into Essays

When integrating quotations from a text into an essay, it is
important that:
    quotations flow seamlessly into your paragraph;
    context for the quotation is provided (i.e. background information);
    quotations are combined within an existing sentence;
    sources are cited using MLA format (see below);
    quotations longer than four lines are indented;
    the subject and verbs of the quotations agree with the subjects and verbs of the
     existing sentence;
    a paragraph should NOT end in a quotation (you need to “comment” on the
     quotation in relation to your thesis, i.e. analysis);
    quotations are copied word-for-word or they can be paraphrased.

Basic Formula for Quotations

 POINT: Set up your            PROOF: Incorporate a          COMMENT: Analyse and
 quotation by providing        quotation seamlessly          discuss the quotation in
 some context. State your      within your paragraph.        relation to your thesis.

Here are some examples of what PROPERLY integrated quotations might look like:

      As the narrator explained, "The river was grayish-blue in the afternoon sun" (116).

      The water turned "grayish-blue in the afternoon sun" (116) symbolizing the xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

MLA Format for Citations from Novels:
   In round brackets, include the author’s last name, a space, and the page number for the
    quotation. Ex: (Lee 125)
   If quoting the same novel for an entire essay, only write the page number in round brackets.
    Ex: (125)
                                                                                                                 ENG 4U
                                                                                                Integrating Quotations #1

Integrating Quotes into Literary Analysis
The following are snippets of an actual high school student essay that illustrate how to smoothly
integrate quotes into a literary analysis. Notice how naturally the quotes blend into the essay, yet they
provide evidence for the writer’s analysis.

from an essay on A GATHERING OF OLD MEN………….

    Throughout literature, river imagery indicates a passage of time. Time is not controllable and does not "turn back."

Neither is it cyclical like many aspects of life. A river is always sweeping toward the future. Gil Boutan stops for a moment

at the riverside on his way to Marshall and notices that, "The river was grayish blue and very calm" (116). It is no accident

that Gaines portrays the image of progress as "grayish-blue" for they are the colors of the uniforms of the Union (gray) and

Confederate (blue) fighting soldiers in the Civil War. The calmness of the water bespeaks of the unhurried but sure

movement of the river toward its destination, of time bringing changes that are sure if slow. Notice that the gray

predominancy of color also connotes the winner of the Civil War. Gil's father, Cajun Fix Boutan, used the river to support

his family in years past. Now, "white people," outsiders to the Bayonne area, have bought up the river property. Gil's

father can no longer depend on the river to aid his family and is forced to move to the bayou with its "dirty brown shallow"

(132) water, its serpent-like shape (132), and its weeping willow boundaries. Symbolically, Fix used the slave-like African-

Americans in the past like personal servants at his beck and call. He had often taken the law into his own hands as a

vigilante group leader and had led lynching mobs and directed beatings of Blacks. As time changes the community, Fix

retreats away from the river to the stagnancy of the Bayou with its dirty brown water and serpent-like shape. Mostly

weeping willow trees grow at the bayou boundaries. Even the tree imagery portrays a sadness ("weeping"). Ironically,

weeping willow trees always need great amounts of water. Perhaps Gaines meant this as a subtle foreshadow that change

would come with time to even the bayou. Indeed, Fix voluntarily remains at the bayou on the day of Beau's death and

chooses not to ride out with a lynching group for Marshall when the new generation of Boutans suggests a more peaceful

and orderly way of handling their brother's murder. The day of vigilante "justice" is over; Sheriff Mapes and Lawyer

Clinton now administer justice with the law books on their side.

   If you are truly following the POINT—PROOF—COMMENT approach, you will never just
   throw a quote into the middle of the paragraph; you must INTRODUCE IT AND DISCUSS
   ITS RELEVANCE! Choose wisely and carefully!

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