Sign in to see the full range of help available to OU students. If you find that an author has summed up in a particularly cogent way, you may prefer to quote their words directly.
Quotations and references
When you quote a person, put their words in quotation marks ' '. Halliday , p. Quotations should be brief. You should do most of the work of explaining an idea in your own words and use a quotation simply to back up what you've said. If you are studying literature, then you may need to quote words or phrases from the poem or passage you are analysing or discussing.
Whatever your reason for using quotations, there are various rules that you must follow. A note on plagiarism: using quotations is not the same as plagiarism. Plagiarism is borrowing too heavily from someone else's work and failing to acknowledge the debt, giving the impression that you are passing their work off as your own.
Universities have sophisticated software that helps them detect when an assignment contains information that has been copied from somewhere else without acknowledgement.
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For this reason it is very important that you learn the referencing format your module adopts. Find out more on the OU library's referencing and plagiarism area. When you make notes during your module, make sure that you record the source of any good quotes you come across. This website is developed and maintained by Online Student Support Services. This page was last updated on 8 January at Find your personal contacts including your tutor and student support team:. Help with accessing the online library, referencing and using libraries near you:. Nelly Dean treats Heathcliff poorly and dehumanizes him throughout her narration:.
They entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room, and I had no more sense, so, I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow.
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By chance, or else attracted by hearing his voice, it crept to Mr. Earnshaw's door, and there he found it on quitting his chamber. Inquiries were made as to how it got there; I was obliged to confess, and in recompense for my cowardice and inhumanity was sent out of the house.
Bronte When citing long sections of poetry four lines of verse or more , keep formatting as close to the original as possible. The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We Romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother's countenance Could not unfrown itself. When citing two or more paragraphs, use block quotation format, even if the passage from the paragraphs is less than four lines.
Writing has been an issue in American secondary and higher education since papers and examinations came into wide use in the s, eventually driving out formal recitation and oral examination. From its birth in the late nineteenth century, progressive education has wrestled with the conflict within industrial society between pressure to increase specialization of knowledge and of professional work upholding disciplinary standards and pressure to integrate more fully an ever-widening number of citizens into intellectually meaningful activity within mass society promoting social equity.
If you add a word or words in a quotation, you should put brackets around the words to indicate that they are not part of the original text:. If you omit a word or words from a quotation, you should indicate the deleted word or words by using ellipses, which are three periods.
For example:. When omitting words from poetry quotations, use a standard three-period ellipses; however, when omitting one or more full lines of poetry, space several periods to about the length of a complete line in the poem:. According to some, dreams express "profound aspects of personality" Foulkes , though others disagree.
According to Foulkes's study, dreams may express "profound aspects of personality" Is it possible that dreams may express "profound aspects of personality" Foulkes ?