Quoting From a Text


I have listed below some of the various ways to quote.  I have given examples from I Am the Messenger.  Three are essentially 3 ways to quote:

1. Introduce your quotation by saying a character or the narrator says, followed by a comma and then the quotation.

- At the end of the novel, Ed thinks to himself, "Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of" (357).

Ed reflects on the Tatupa's Christmas lights and realizes, "It's not a big thing, but I guess it's true -- big things are often just small things that are noticed" (221).

2. Use a colon, which is like an equal sign.  Make your statement, ending with a colon; it says what follows illustrates your comment.

- Ed loves watching Sophie run barefoot: "That's when she's true.  She's apart.  Almost out of herself" (70).

- When Ed brings Marv to the playground with Suzanne Boyd and their daughter Melinda, he is moved by the love he witnesses: "Marv's smile and the giant glass tears on his face are two of the most beautiful things I've ever seen" (330).

3. Incorporate the quotation into your own language, using no punctuation at all.

- When Ed paints the graffiti with Marv, he feels so alive that he wants "to run and laugh and feel like this forever" (155).

- As Ed walks home from the supermarket after he figures out how to get answers from Marv, his grocery "bags slice through [his] hands."  But he says, "I don't mind at all," because he is so happy that he knows how to help his friend (311).

Remember to keep your quotations brief.  The focus should be on your commentary: how does the quotation illustrate the point you are making.