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How to Quote

Always quote in complete sentences, and always explain the significance of each quotation.  

WRONG:
In "Anthem for Doomed Youth", Wilfred Owen uses the imagery of the funeral to describe the battlefield. For instance, "passing bells", "hasty orisons", and "shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells".

RIGHT: 
In "Anthem for Doomed Youth", Wilfred Owen uses the imagery of the funeral to describe the battlefield. He compares the noise of cannon to the sound of "passing bells", the bells rung at a funeral, to suggest the contrast between a formal burial and the squalid death of the battlefield. Similarly, the sound of rifles becomes "hasty orisons" and the noises of "wailing shells" are "shrill, demented choirs".

Avoid awkward sentence structure. Integrate quotations into the grammar of your sentence.

WRONG: 
"only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle" uses alliteration to imitate the sound of the battle.

RIGHT:
In the line, "Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle, "Owen uses alliteration to imitate the sound of battle.
 

Select the important details from a long quotation and comment on the significance of each detail.

WRONG: 
In "Araby", James Joyce uses religious imagery to describe a young boy's love for an older girl:

I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes. Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand. My eyes were often full of tears (I could not tell why) and at times a flood from my heart seemed to pour itself out into my bosom. I thought little of the future. I did not know whether I would ever speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her of my confused adoration. But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running down the wires. (p. 29)

WRONG: 
In "Araby", James Joyce uses religious imagery to describe a young boy's love for an older girl:

I imagined that I bore my chalice . . . upon the wires." (p. 29)

RIGHT: 

In "Araby", James Joyce uses religious imagery to describe a young boy's love for an older girl:

I imagined that I bore my chalice safely through a throng of foes. Her name sprang to my lips at moments in strange prayers and praises which I myself did not understand . . . . my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires. (p. 29)

The narrator's love appears to him as a sacred cup or chalice which he protects against a pagan enemy. When he speaks Mangan's sister's name, it is like a prayer on his lips, while "her words and gestures" are like fingers running upon the harp of his body. In each case, the relationship is described specifically in terms drawn from the boy's Catholic education.