Introducing Quotations: And Why It’s a Good Idea

Writing is a form of expression used to tell the reader what is going on, what happened and who has an opinion or something to say. Ultimately, we want our reader to understand who said what and why to get our point across or to explain the information about the topic we have used in our writing. However, we also want to be clear when someone other than the writer has said something to avoid plagiarism, which is a violation of any educational system and in general a huge concern for any writer!


All of us know that writing should be done in such a way as to make everything clear or with clarity to our readers. Part of clarity is to tell the reader who is responsible for saying certain things in our writing. In order for us to give proper credit to people for opinions or comments made by them we must use quotation marks to show that someone has said something. Not only are we showing who said something, but also when their words started and stopped in our writing. Quotation marks are giving credit to the person being quoted, but also putting things in perspective for the reader! Perspective is important to show perhaps the sequence of events in a story, the ideas you have used to come to your opinion on the subject you are writing, or the details that have been found with research provided by someone you are quoting. As you can see how we explain other peoples thoughts in our writing is a big responsibility and therefore, must be done correctly.


When you introduce a quotation you are flowing one idea into another. Like introducing a speaker at an event, they do not just walk up on stage, someone hosting the event talks about their accomplishments or why they are present to begin with. The same goes for your writing, you don’t want to confuse the reader by just throwing in a random quotation. You have to start off by saying who said the quote and then lead up with the quotation. By using quotations you are making your writing clearer to your audience. Your quotation will generally end something you just talked about or in most cases transition from one point to another and then talk about that next point you are writing. The reason most professors want quotations in papers is to show some evidence to your paper. That you fully researched and are making an argument that is not one sided.


For instance, when I first started college I was not the best writer. I had a general understanding of what was involved in writing, but being in a college level class was different and we went into more detail. We had to apply everything we learned and we were graded more harshly for our mistakes then we were in high school. During one of our first papers I did not introduce my quotes. When I went and talked to my professor he said introducing quotations would have made my transitions easier, but also made my writing in general more effective. For that reason and a few careless mistakes I got a lower grade then I wanted. When you put all of these things together it really makes sense and will help you with all your writing assignments in college!