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Nerdify Reviews 6 Steps for Integrating Quotes In Your Essays

Nerdify Reviews 6 Steps for Integrating Quotes In Your Essays

While nearly every student knows that they must include primary and secondary sources quotes in their essays, not as many students are as effective at integrating them. Quotes act as evidence for your argument, and if the context surrounding your evidence isn’t strong enough, it weakens your entire argument. Below, our Nerdify reviews team compiled a list of the steps you’ll need to take to properly integrate quotes into your essays.

1. Introduce Your Quote

Our Nerdify reviews experts state that the first step to integrating a quote into your essay is to establish both the source — either primary (an original text) or secondary (text about the other text) — and the source’s author. An introduction to your primary source and its author is usually done in, go figure, your intro paragraph. After introducing the author’s full name, you can simply refer to them as their last name. You can either name the author as you introduce the quote, or just write the author’s name within the parenthetical in-text citation at the end of the sentence, which many students on Reddit say they prefer to do.

2. Include Your Quote

As alluded to in the previous step, there are multiple ways to place a quote into your essay. You could be very direct, introducing it by stating, “[author] writes, ‘[quote],’” say our Nerdify reviews experts. Using brackets within a quote indicates that what is contained within the bracket isn’t in the text from the original source. Instead, the bracket’s text is used to make a sentence flow better, either by condensing a quote, making words within a sentence agree and so on. Along the lines of making a sentence flow, you can use the aforementioned method of using a quote as if it were your own words by just citing the author in in-text citations. That is, of course, so long as that author was introduced correctly earlier in the essay. Make sure that your quote is an effective length, as it will be awkward if it is too long or too short, a writing trap many students on Reddit fall into. Related to this, you’ll need to format a block quote differently if you decide to use one.

3. Determine Whether Or Not You Have a Block Quote

Instead of typical quotes that are in line with the rest of your essay, block quotes are more extended forms of text indented into their own miniature paragraph. If your paper is in MLA style — which is usually the case for college papers — your quote is a block if it takes up five lines or longer. While it can be tempting to use block quotes to take up as much of your word count as possible, our Nerdify review experts want you to know professors are very aware of this obvious “trick.” If you decide you need all the text included in a block quote, make sure you adequately contextualize the quote beforehand. More importantly, ensure you dissect each aspect of the quote thoroughly to show that you genuinely needed those five-plus lines from your source.

4. Summarize Your Quote

Even though the context of a quote might be obvious to you, you’ll need to explain this to the reader, as essays are to be written as if the audience hasn’t read your sources. Many students on Reddit disregard this step, which leads to a lower grade on their essays. If your quote is from a story, explain what happened in the excerpt you just included, the characters involved, and its place in the plot. This is a very brief description, and can often just be a rephrasing of the author’s original words into more easily-understandable text.

5. State the Significance of The Quote

Once you have the necessary context sandwiching a quote, you’ll need to explain why this quote is significant. Beyond summarizing the passage, this is the point where you say what this quote represents on a larger scale. If the excerpt is from a story, this usually involves discussing the symbols or themes discussed in the section. If it is a secondary analytical source, state how this fits the author’s larger argument. Speaking of argument, now you’ll need to say how this quote relates to your thesis point.

6. Relate the Quote Back to Your Argument

Now, after what seems like quite the journey, is the part where you finally state why you included this quote in your essay in the first place. With the context and meaning of the passage said, you’ll now be able to analyze how this quote fits into the argument of this particular paragraph. Since each section of an essay is just one piece of evidence for the overall argument of your essay, state how this quote fits into your introductory thesis statement as well.

Our Nerdify reviews team realizes this might seem like a daunting process to complete. You might wonder how you have space to write about anything else if this is what you need to do for each quote, but this process makes your life so much easier. Since you now have a formula for this essay component, you won’t have to worry about using filler words to reach the word count, ensuring the best quality essay you can write.



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