Quotations are another way to integrate source information into your paragraphs, but you should use them sparingly.
How do you know when you should use quotations in your essay? Essentially, quotations should function to support, comment on, or give an example of a point you are making in your own words. And, of course, you should keep in mind that quotes should be kept to a minimum. A good “rule” to remember is that you only want to use a quote when it’s absolutely necessary, when your source puts something in a way that just needs to be put that way or when you need a quote from an expert to support a point you have already made.
You should also remember that you don’t want to use quotations to make your point for you. Readers should be able to skip the quotations in your paper and still understand all your main points. This means, after each quote, you have to provide analysis for that quote. This works well if you follow the MEAL Plan. The idea is to help your audience gather the meaning from the quote you want them to gather. It’s your job as a writer to make the quote meaningful for your audience.
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