How to Write Direct Statements From Books for Essays

by Alicia Anthony, Demand Media Google

When you include direct statements from another author's work within your own, it is called quoting. You should quote material when it lends insight or otherwise contributes a well-phrased idea to your piece. The first step in knowing how to quote a piece directly is determining how much of the original work you want to share with your audience.

Using Quoted Material

In general, use quotations as little as possible in your essays. Reserve quotations for when you are supporting key details within your piece. Quotes should serve a purpose within the context of your essay. When you first introduce a direct quotation in your essay, add a bit of information about the author and/or why you believe this quotation needs to be in your paper, followed by the direct statement framed within quotation marks. For example, Dr. Jones from the Investing Institute of America has stated, "The citizen-investor serves his fellow citizens badly by his inclination to withdraw from the community."

APA In-Text Citations

The first step in providing correct citations for the quotations you use is to provide information about the source within parentheses. APA style uses the author, date, page number and method of in-text citation. For example, "I do not like green eggs and ham." (Seuss, 1960, p. 10) If you have attributed the quotation to the author, you only need to include the page number after the quotation. For example, As Dr. Seuss (1960) writes, "I do not like green eggs and ham." (p. 10).

MLA In-Text Citations

In MLA style, follow the author with the page number and method of in-text citation. If it is unclear to whom the quote is attributed, or if you have more than one source, include the author's name followed by the page number, such as: "...ham." (Seuss, 10). If the author has been attributed earlier in the phrase, only the page number is necessary. For example, As Dr. Seuss states, "...ham." (10).

Citing the Reference Page

Any quotations used within your work must be cited in a reference page. Exactly how this is done depends upon your preferred citation method. If you are using APA style, the citation for a book in print will look like this -- if the citation spans more than one line, the second line should be indented: Last name, A. C. (Year Published) Book Name in Italics. City, State: Publisher. If you are using MLA style, your book citation will look like this -- again, if the citation spans more than one line, the second line will be indented: Lastname, Firstname. Title of Book in Italics. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.

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About the Author

Alicia Anthony is a seasoned educator with more than 10 years classroom experience in the K-12 setting. She holds a Master of Education in literacy curriculum and instruction and a Bachelor of Arts in communications. She is completing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing: fiction, and working on a novel.

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