Skip to Main Content

Academic Resource Center

Integrating Quotations and Paraphrases

Introduce the quotation or paraphrase by setting it in context. For a nonfiction source, identify the author the first time you cite the source. For a literary source, identify the speaker or writer and the position of the quoted piece in its work for every quotation. There are three ways to introduce quotations or paraphrases:

1. You can use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation

The fossil evidence for human evolution is consistent with the idea promulgated by Darwin: “the tree of life is a branching one with numerous lineages, not a single evolutionary lineage from ancient to modern” (Johanson, 2009, p. 278).

2. You can use a lead-in naming the author or character, followed by a comma.

The renowned Russian geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky once remarked, “All species are unique, but humans are uniquest” (Johanson, 2009, p. 275).

3. You can also begin a sentence with your own words and complete it with quoted words. In this case, do not use a comma before the quotation.

Johanson (2009) proposed that if the primate “was using its hands to make and wield tools, it was, in all likelihood, walking upright” (p.151 ).

Set off a long quotation (“block quotation”) by beginning a new line and indenting the body of the quotation in from the left margin of your text. Block quotations are not surrounded by quotation marks. 

For APA - A quotation of more than 40 words of prose should be double-spaced and indented by ½ inch:

Louis reported on two dozen bones of a juvenile male hominid at Olduvai dubbed OH7:

Its large incisors and smallish molars and premolars distinguished it from australopithecines, as did its humanlike hand and foot bones. But what most impressed Louis and his collaborators was their specimen’s cranial capacity of an estimated 674 cubic centimeters – roughly 50 percent higher than the australopithecine average. (Johanson, 2009, p. 188)