Everything You Need to Know about Integrating Quotations into Your LiteraryAnalysisPART3B:FORMATTINGQUOTATIONS– PROSE
Professor Lisa YanoverNapa Valley College
PART 3B: FormattingProse Quotations
Kinds of Prose
NovelsShort StoriesFairy & Folk TalesFablesMyths & LegendsProse PoemsEtc.
Essays & ArticlesMemoirs & AutobiographiesBiographiesHistoriesLettersReportsTextbooksEtc.
FormattingProse Quotations: Short
A shortprosequotation is under five linesafter being typed into your essay. It is incorporated into your paragraph but set off by quotation marks.Note about punctuation:Make sure the quotation marks are right next to the first/last word at the beginning and end of the quotation. The parenthetical in-text citation comes after the end quotation marks with a space between the quotation marks and the parentheses. Put the end punctuation of your sentence after the in-text citation. The only punctuation that would come inside the quotation marks is a question mark (?) or exclamation mark (!) that is part of the original text, not added by you, and you still need end punctuation to end or continue your sentence after the parenthetical citation.In-Text Citations forProse Quotations:Use the author's last name and the page number: (Jackson 964).Note: Do not use the word "page" or "p." or "pg." or any punctuation between the author's last name and the page number. If you're only writing about one story and you've already identified the author, you can provide the page number only: (964).
FormattingProse Quotations:Short Partial Prose Quotations
Ashort partial prose quotationisone or more words, a phrase,ora clausecreating a complete sentence only when joined withyour sentence. Notice that the only punctuation that might be used before a short partial quotation would be a comma and only if it would be used even if there were no quotation. Also, the first word in the quotation is not capitalized (and would only be capitalized if it were a proper noun).Example: Alreadythree of the boys have"made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square" (Jackson 964),and the reader is allowed to believe, for the moment, in the innocence of their purpose.Example:Themen stand at a distance, "surveying their own children, speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes" (Jackson 964).The word"surveying,"in particular, suggests an attitude of physical and emotional distance as well as dominance or ownership.Example:Thestones gathered by the boys at the beginning foreshadow the ending and its cruelest moment when"someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles" (Jackson 969).The diminutive phrase"little Davy Hutchinson" is transformed with the addition of"a few pebbles"so that in this context it no longer evokes innocence but culpability, showing us how the community teaches their traditions to the next generation, thus perpetuating those traditions and making sure everyone is equally guilty.
FormattingProse Quotations:Short Complete Prose Quotations
Ashort completeprosequotationiscomposedof one or more complete sentences. Introduce complete quotations with a complete sentence of your own ending with a colon (:). A colon is a kind of equal sign, meaning that the sentence or sentences that come after it are equal to (define ordescribe or exemplify)the sentence before it. Notice that the first word of a complete quotation begins with a capital letter.Example:Tessie Hutchinson, in turn, responds light-heartedly with a joke: "Wouldn't have me leavem'dishesin the sink, now, would you, Joe?" (Jackson 965).By the end of the story, the irony and horror of this joke become apparent; Tessie's final act to tidy her house is itself an act of politeness, one which she did readily without protest or questioning, as if knowing she would not return and not wanting to leave her house a mess.Example:Thewomen, in contrast, are made to seem inconsequential: "The women, wearing faded house dresses and sweaters, came shortly after their menfolk. They greeted one another and exchanged bits of gossip as they went to join their husbands" (Jackson 964).The women are made to seem like appendages to their husbands, coming after them, suggesting both subordination as well as subjugation as if they are obeying an implicit command. Similarly, the women's talk is described simply as"gossip,"unlike the weightier matters of livelihood the men discuss.Example: Thisillusion of normalcy, of innocence is ultimately dispelled as we read at the end: "The children had stones already, and someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles" (Jackson 969).The deception Jackson has perpetrated on us is made all the more poignant because of our realization that our foolishness stems, not from what Jackson omitted—the stones were there all along—but from what we have added to the story: that is, our own assumptions and desires, what we wanted to see.
Formatting Prose Quotations: Long
A long quotation is five lines or moreafter being typed into your essay. Alllong quotationsare complete, in other words, made up of one or more complete sentences. As a result, thesignal phrase introducingit must also be a complete sentence ending with a colon. Long quotations are set off by blocking; the left side is intended one inch (one step more than a paragraph indent, which is one-half inch). Quotation marks are not used. Double-spacing with no extra spaces above or below the quotation is maintained throughout.Noteabout punctuation:With long quotations, the end punctuation comes before the parenthetical citation. The end punctuation is typically a period unless the quotation itself ends in a question or exclamation. The parenthetical citation goes on the last line of the quotation if it fits or on the next line indented like the rest of the quotation.
FormattingProse Quotations:Example of a Long Quotation
Whilethe outcome, the stoning of a randomly chosen villager, is horrifyingly cruel, reexamined, the story reveals that an even more significant and insidious cruelty is the matter-of-fact, efficient politeness all the villagers wear like a uniform. The opening paragraph of "The Lottery" with its matter-of-fact description of the village sets this mood:The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o'clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 26th, but in this village, where there were only about three hundred people, the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o'clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner. (Jackson 963)It's a pleasant day; the weather cooperates as do the villagers, who gather at the agreedupon timein the agreed upon place.