How to quote

Do not use quotations:
  • when describing or summarising ideas
  • in place of your own thoughts and ideas

When you’re describing ideas you should use your own words, unless the exact wording is important. An essay should be your own thoughts on a topic, not a compilation of quotations from other people.

As your lecturer might say:

“I already know that this textbook author understands the subject; I want to find out whether you do too!” 

Use quotations
  • when you want to use a key (memorable) phrase
  • when you want to comment on someone else’s view and it is important to use their exact words
  • to develop or support your own argument

An example of a memorable phrase would be:

‘A rose by any other name’ - William Shakespeare
‘The selfish gene’ - Richard Dawkins 

Creative Commons Licence
SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester, modified by Marion Kelt Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.