quotation must fit into a paragraph smoothly. You must lead the reader into a
quotation and then lead the reader away from it. One good way to introduce a
quotation is to summarize or paraphrase its meaning. The summary or paraphrase
provides a context in which the reader can understand the quoted passage. And
mentioning the author's name in your text is a good habit too.
Above all, a paper must not be
a string of quotations patched together.
NOT: Many noted critics say TV is
detrimental to children. "TV has a serious adverse effect on kids" (Jones 164).
"Kids lose the ability to learn from reality" (Smith 22).
BUT: Many eminent doctors point
to what Spock calls the "adverse effect" that TV has on children (164).
Defining this effect more closely, Dr. Seuss says, "Kids lose the ability to
learn from reality" (22) as a result of watching television. Generally critics
agree that intellectual pabulum breeds intellectual midgets.
If a quotation worked into your
own text does not make sense on its own, or does not fit the grammatical
construction of your sentence, you must alter it to do so. And you must
indicate any alterations, using ellipses (...) to indicate omissions and
brackets  to add words that aren't there. Don't add ellipses in front of
quotations, even if words are omitted.
QUOTATION: "Contemporary press
accounts confirm that Parisians were lining up to see the film just to guess
how the tricks were done." Donald Crafton referring to the 1907 film "The
Haunted Hotel" in Before Mickey: The Animated Cartoon 1898-1928, pp.
YOU WRITE: American films using
trick photography rapidly became popular in Europe. Crafton notes that in 1907,
"Parisians were lining up to see the film ["The Haunted Hotel"] just to guess
how the tricks were done" (16-17).
QUOTATION: "After his father
died, Jennings managed the bank with the same easy-going affability that had
won the old man so many friends and led him to make so many shaky loans."
Philip Land, The Great Bank Failure, p. 490.
YOU WRITE: As Land points out,
Jennings's appointment as bank president brought about few changes; he "managed
the bank with the same easy-going affability that had won the old man so many
friends and led him to make so many shaky loans" (490).
QUOTATION: "Wood technology, he
continued, whatever its merits, was not a science that had been recognized by
the courts." Waller, Kidnap, p. 371.
YOU WRITE:A further problem arose
in matching the wood in the ladder rung to that found in Hauptmann's attic. The
defense claimed that no expert could argue about it because "wood
technology..., whatever its merits, was not a science that had been recognized
by the courts" (Waller 371). Or: ...could argue about it because "wood
technology...was not a science that had been recognized by the courts"
QUOTATION: "In the minds of her
people, the tombs of the great were never completely closed." Henri Troyat,
Catherine The Great, p. 210.
YOU WRITE: The theory that Elvis
is alive is held by many people. As Henri Troyat puts it, "the tombs of the
great [are] never completely closed" (210).