How To Insert Quotes In A Research Paper: Free Tips And Examples

Using short and long quotations in a research paper is great way of bringing a sense of credibility to your claims by showing that previous work has been done in support of your ideas. Inserting quotes is pretty standard across disciplines with only a few minor differences depending on whether you use MLA or APA. Here are some free tips and examples to help you know the differences and select the correct format:

Inserting Quotes According to MLA Rules

Short quotations (anything fewer 3 typed lines of verse or than 4 typed lines of prose) can be placed within the main text marked with quotation marks at the beginning and at the end. You can include the author’s name along with the page number where you found the quotation within parentheses at the end of the quote or include the name within the sentence as a variation.

Examples of these two methods are:

  • There have been many students who have “benefited from apprenticing with skilled craftsmen in a number of specialized fields” (Bandit 184).

  • According to Bandit, there have been many students who have “benefited from apprenticing with skilled craftsmen in a number of specialized fields” (184).

Additionally you should include a complete citation of the source material at the end of your research paper in a separate section title “Works Cited”. How this citation is listed depends on whether your source material is a book, journal article, web resources, etc.

Inserting Quotes According to APA Rules

The biggest difference in APA citations in comparison to those in the MLA is that APA format uses the author’s name, year of publication, followed by the page number in which the quote is found in the original source. One can also introduce the quote with what is known as signal phrase which includes the author’s name and the date of publication, (e.g., As Vallejo (1998) states in his report…) and leave the page number in parentheses at the end of the quote.

Examples of these methods are:

  • There have been many students who have benefited from apprenticing with skilled craftsmen in a number of specialized fields” (Bandit, 2005, p. 184).

  • According to Bandit (2005), there have been many students who have “benefited from apprenticing with skilled craftsmen in a number of specialized fields” (p. 184).

In both the MLA and APA, anything considered a long quote (more than four lines in MLA and more than 40 words in APA) should be included as free-standing block text indented one-half inch from the left margin. Be sure to include all citation information following the rules above, but omit the quotation marks.