Avoid Dropped Quotations

Why is it important to avoid dropped quotations?

A dropped quotation—a quote that appears in a paper without introduction—can disrupt the flow of thought, create an abrupt change in voice, and/or leave the reader wondering why the quote is included.

Instead of creating an unwelcome disruption in their paper’s cohesiveness with a dropped quotation, thoughtful writers should employ strategies for smoothly integrating source material into their own work.

What are the benefits of fluently integrating a direct quotation?

When quotations are smoothly integrated, writers can strategically introduce their readers to the new speaker, connect their point to the quotation’s theme, and provide their audience with a clear sense of how the quote supports the paper’s argument. Using these tactics to segue from the writer’s voice to the source’s voice can add agency and authority to the writer’s ideas.

What can be done to fluently integrate a direct quotation into a paper?

Use a signal phrase at the beginning or end of the quotation:

  • Sample signal phrases:
    • Noted journalist John Doe proposed that “ . . . ” (14).
    • Experts from The Centers for Disease Control advise citizens to “ . . . ” (CDC).
    • “. . . ,” suggested researcher Jane Doe (1).

 Use an informative sentence to introduce the quotation:

  • Sample introductory sentences:
    • The results of dietician Sally Smith’s research counter the popular misconception that a vegan diet is nutritionally incomplete:
    • An experiment conducted by Dave Brown indicates that texting while driving is more dangerous than previously believed:

Use appropriate signal verbs:

adds confirms lists reports
argues describes illustrates  states
asserts discusses notes suggests
claims emphasizes observes writes