A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.

Joe Moxley, Founder, WritingCommons.org

Joe Moxley


Dear Colleagues and Students,

At Writing Commons, we are happy with the overall success of our project. Since 2011, when we launched at WritingCommons.org, we have hosted 6,315,882 users who have reviewed over 11 million pages. We are thrilled that students and faculty find our site to be helpful. Our ongoing mission is to be the best writing textbook possible. We also happen to be free. While we cannot perhaps claim yet that we are the best possible textbook for technical writing or creative writing courses, we are working on that.

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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
Cassandra Branham, Editor-in-Chief WritingCommons.org

Cassandra Branham


Dear Colleagues and Students,

Welcome to Writing Commons, an open-education resource for instructors and students of writing across the disciplines. Our mission is to provide a high-quality, cost free resource to support students in the development of writing, research, and critical thinking practices.

This summer, we have been working on a site redesign in an effort to increase the usability of our site for both instructors and students. Our most significant change has been the inclusion of additional categories and subcategories to create a more intuitive hierarchy within the site.

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