Rules for Incorporating Quotations in Research

This article deals with the general rules for incorporating direct quotations in research. The use of quotations in research make your research paper more credible it also gives your paper scholarly look. However, the use of quotations in research should be done with caution. The students need to know the purpose of using quotations; how to use a quotation; how many quotations are fine for a research paper; and how long should be each of these quotations. All of this means that you need to know the basic rules for using quotations in research.

Rule # 1:

Direct quotations should consume a small percentage of the whole research paper. No more than 15 percent of your paper should be direct quotation. To achieve this goal you should use only few quotations and each of these quotation should not be more than 1 or 2 sentences. You need to know how to take out the most important information from the quotation and write it in your research paper. The idea behind using few quotations is that the purpose of the quotations is to support your ideas no to overtake it.

Rule # 2:

Keep quotations short and to the point although there might be a lot of information but you need to add only that information which is highly relevant. Sometimes students get tempted by the information present in the quotation and they want to add a lot of it. Adding long quotations make your research paper more of other peoples opinion than your own. When incorporating quotation make sure to incorporate it smoothly and the sentence structure should be accurate.

Rule # 3:

Clearly identify each quotation so that each of the quotation has its own reference and citation. You can use two or more than two quotations in one paragraph but then you need to clearly identify each of them. In case you cannot clearly identify each quotation your writing will become plagiarized. Start the setup of the quotation with a signal phrase that can identify that you are going to write someone else’s opinion.

Rule # 4:

Precede and follow each of the quotations with your own words and this is important. You cannot just write a quote without any introduction why you are adding this quote here. This will help you tell the readers about your point of view before you introduce the quote. Do not just end the paragraph with the quotation but follow it with your own writing. You cannot rely on the quotation alone to explain an idea you first need to use your own words and then use the quotation just to support your words.

Rule # 5:

Interweave your sources avoid mistake of using the same source again and again otherwise your paper will become plagiarized. You need to use several sources to justify what you want to say as one source or two sources cannot be enough. Several sources help you in analyzing your ideas one source cannot help you do that.

Rule # 6:

Cite your sources properly include authors full name, year of publication and page number in the in-text citation. Also provide a complete reference at the end of the research paper that will also include the publication name, book/article/journal name etc. The in-text citation for the quotations can be done in several ways depends on the type of citation you are using in your research paper. For example APA in-text citation will be different form Harvard or Vancouver system of citation. Check out the rules for each of them before citing the sources for the quotations.


  • Tensen, B. L., Research Strategies for a Diital Age, 2nd Ed., Thomson Wadsworth , USA, Pp-101-102
  • Guidelines for Incorporating Quotes,, Retrieved on: 11/28/2018



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