Using Quotations in Your Research Papers

Using quotations well

A well-placed quotation can make a big impact.

Quotations play a vital role in your research paper. But knowing how to use quotes appropriately is almost as important as using them in the first place. An incorrectly placed quote or too many quotes at once can lessen the impact. In this post, we talk about quotations in general and how you should use them in your research paper.

When should you use quotations?

To strengthen your argument: Quotations help establish your point. Relevant quotes by famous people or experts in your field can support the ideas you are putting across.

To showcase your research: Quotes are a great way to demonstrate that you have done research. So, if you come across a relevant quote while preparing for your paper, make a note of it and include it when writing the paper.

To add value to your paper: Using a well-written line with beautiful language can make a lasting impression on the reader.

How much is too much?  

Regardless of their value, be careful when using quotations. Too many quotes give you less scope to highlight your own views and can make the paper less personal. A common tactic is using more quotes to reach the word limit, but professors may penalize students who quote excessively.

One view is that quotations should not occupy more than 20 per cent of your paper. After all, the paper should carry your signature and the focus should be on your understanding of the subject matter. If you blindly rely on quotes, your own views will get lost.

Using quotations properly

Keep to the limit of 20 per cent when using quotes. If you want to quote more, try paraphrasing the source text in your own words. This will give your paper credibility and show off your writing skills. Learn about the different ways of paraphrasing in this helpful guide.

Do not forget to identify the source though. Even a well-written paper that employs quotes effectively can land in a plagiarism row if the sources are not acknowledged properly. For each quote, make sure to name the author and the required publication details.

Quotations are very handy in helping your paper make a good impact. So keep these tips in mind and use quotes properly to get the best results.

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