Using Quotations in Essays ; ..

When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name. Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number if it is available.

 of How to Quote and Cite a Poem in an Essay Using MLA Format was reviewed by  on March 28, 2017.

Sometimes more information is necessary to identify the source from which a quotation is taken. For instance, if two or more authors have the same last name, provide both authors' first initials (or even the authors' full name if different authors share initials) in your citation. For example:


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Quoting poetryQuoting a verse from a poem can add a lot of charm to your essay.


1. When referring to words used as words, you can mark them out by either quotation marks, underlining or italics. Whichever option you choose, be consistent throughout any given piece of writing.

[Words set off with quotation marks]


[Words set off using italics]

2. When you use technical terms related to a certain profession or field of study, enclose them in quotation marks and provide a definition. This is important as your audience may not be familiar with these expressions and may take them at face value. If the audience of your writing is familiar with professional jargon, it would be unnecessary or even insulting to use quotation marks. Do not reuse quotation marks with technical terms once they have been introduced and defined.


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If you get stuck developing these claims, try to think of reasons why your thesis is true. Each claim should be a reason why the reader should believe your paper’s main idea. For example, perhaps you’re writing an essay about whether people should drink soy milk instead of cow’s milk. Your "reasons" for this might include health benefits, environmental benefits, cost-effectiveness, and safety, so you would focus one paragraph on each of these topics.

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1. When you quote directly from a printed or non-printed source, you must enclose the quoted text, be it a fragment or a full , in quotation marks, both in the beginning and end of the quoted text. In MLA style, if a quotation is no more than 4 lines long, it is considered short and thus incorporated into the text. information (reference to the origin of the quote) is given before the sentence's ending period.

[Fragment in a short quote incorporated into the general text body]

Text body...
[Full statement in a short quote of three lines incorporated into the general text body]

2. In MLA style, if a quotation is more than 4 lines long, it is considered long and is not incorporated into the text. Instead, indent the long quote as a separate block of text. Documentation information (reference to the origin of the quote) is given after the quote's ending period. You do not use quotation marks with indented block quotations. If the block quotation is part of the introductory sentence (as in the below example), it does not begin with a capital letter. If the block quotation starts with a separate sentence, not grammatically related to the introductory sentence, then it does begin with a capital letter.
After surveying a large corpus of research, Smith contends that according to recent educational surveys, it is largely accepted that English has now become so widely spoken around the world that it can easily be regarded as the "international language " of the 21st century. It is estimated that about 25% of the world's population is currently studying or using English at various levels of proficiency. Although many English speakers regard themselves as "Native Speakers," only about 400 million of them can rightfully do so, having been raised and educated in a fully English speaking environment. (Smith, 2005)

3. In MLA style, quotation marks appearing within quotation marks have to be distinguished from one another. In short quotations of prose, use single quotation marks for internal quotations. In long quotation marks, keep the double quotation marks as they appear in the original text from which you are quoting.

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Though not necessarily logical, the American rules for multiple punctuation with quotation marks are firmly established. ( for a brief explanation of the British style.)