Writing Paragraphs and/or Essays with Quotations

When you begin writing essays and paragraphs.  Your teacher will require you to put examples.  The problem starts when you cannot think of an example. This is when I use quotations.

The quotation does not have to be real if you are not doing a research essay.  Therefore, I use this method when writing essays for my English classes.

A sample partial paragraph:

Guns kill people.   First, guns kill innocent people.  For example, Billy said, “My friend, who did nothing wrong, died instantly from a bullet in the head because the shooter accidentally pulled the trigger.” …

I do not know a Billy, and this is a fake quote, but this is only an English assignment.  If this is a research essay, I will have to look at news articles and books to find actual examples that I can document.  Furthermore, I will have to follow the formal writing standard for research essays.

Therefore, if you are writing paragraphs and/or essays that do not require real facts, you can use fake quotations.  This is good practice.  This will allow you to understand how to write quotations when the time comes to write your own research assignment.

If you are doing a research assignment, you will have to either purchase, understand or read about the APA or MLA formatting and style guide.  These are the standards accepted in pretty much all schools, and they must be followed.

Some schools will accept either, but there maybe some that require one to be followed.  Therefore, ask before using one.

These books can be purchased in some bookstores and usually cost less than ten dollars Canadian.

OWL provides these guides, and they may be acceptable.  Nevertheless, I highly recommend purchasing a book though.  The book is a good reference.

APA Formatting and Style Guide

MLA Formatting and Style Guide

A reader recommends citationmachine.net as another useful resource for the APA and MLA formating and style guide.

You can find citationmachine.net’s links below for the:
•  APA – http://www.citationmachine.net/mla/cite-a-book
•  MLA – http://www.citationmachine.net/mla/cite-a-website

For those writing paragraphs and/or essays for English 11 and/or 12 class and need to quote something in a book, poetry, or Shakespeare’s work in your writing.  There are various rules that need to be followed.  For example, using a whole quote when only part of the quote is needed will result in lower marks.

The quote below is an example where Billy says something.  What Billy said in the middle is not related to the topic, therefore, it is omitted using ellipses.

Billy said, “I am a boy who likes … guns.”

How to use quotations in your writing properly

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