Using information

La Trobe University Library La Trobe Library

Using information

Achieve@Uni
La Trobe University Library La Trobe Library

Using information

Achieve@Uni
La Trobe University Library La Trobe Library

Using information

Achieve@Uni

Quoting

One popular way to integrate sources into your writing is to use direct quotes. To use quotes correctly, you must ensure that each of your quotations has a specific purpose, such as:

  • highlighting a point of view
  • presenting an opposite perspective
  • providing a supporting argument
  • discussing implications

Use direct quotes very sparingly as they do not demonstrate that you have really understood the material:

  • direct quotes should be integrated grammatically into your sentence
  • always surround the quote with quotation marks
  • make sure the words are added exactly as they were written in the original
  • always include a page number in the reference for a quote

Only use direct quotations for:

  • a particularly effective, powerful or controversial statement; a definition or part of a definition (especially a technical one); or a specific term or expression created by an author.
  • Sample direct quote:

This corresponds with the findings of Lange and Fenwick (2008, p. 52), where small business owner-operators embrace a worldview where they perceive they have responsibilities to the community” (2012, p. 13).  This quote includes a reference to yet other work which should be copied exactly as in the original AND included in your own reference list.

  • Partial direct quote used in a sentence:

Lange and Fenwick also found a strong belief among small business managers that they “have responsibilities to the community” (2012, p. 13).

  • Using a conversational statement in a quote:

Nurses need to be able to communicate well.  It has even been suggested that “all nurses need a master’s degree in English grammar” (Zilm, 2009, p. 34).

  • Using a quote for a definition:

Values are fundamental to social work practice and are defined as “the customs, standard of conduct and principles considered desirable by a culture, a group of people, or an individual” (Barker, 1995, cited in Netting, Kettner, & McMurtry, 1998, p. 329).  Note how the original author (Barker) and secondary source (Netting et al) are referenced.

  • Using a quote because the author liked the expression:

Nursing researchers had argued that intuition uses processes which were “hard-wired through evolution” (Effken, 2001, p. 58).

  • If quoting three lines or more, don’t use quotation marks but block-indent the whole quotation in from the margin:

Miller (1992, p. 86) emphasises the ongoing importance of the Revolution:

The Revolution of 1688-89 was …. of great importance for the history of liberty, in England and elsewhere. Later generations saw it as the cornerstone of their liberties – an MP referred to the Bill of Rights as “our original contract” as early as 1690 (Grey 1769, pp. 75-76) -- and used it to validate their claims for greater liberty.

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