Using Quotations

Quotes should be used sparingly; it is better to show the reader that you understand the material by writing it in your own words. However, there are times when a succinct and clear quotation can enhance the readability of your essay. Quotes should be clearly indicated by double quotation marks if less than 40 words, and by indenting them five to seven spaces (or ½ an inch) if 40 or more words.

Quotes and other key items of information need to be appropriately referenced, indicating the author, date of publication, and page number. Make sure that you include the full details of the author and publication in the Reference section at the end of your research report or essay.

Examples of short quotes in text (less than 40 words)
Example 1:
This is not to say that borderline personality organisation is transitory or fluctuating, but rather a stable pathological structure that becomes “entrenched and fixed, and affects all later personality functioning” (Goldstein, 1990, p. 19).

Example 2:
According to Goldstein, Kernberg “hypothesises too much aggression as etiologic, [but] he does not say what causes this overabundance of aggression” (1995, p. 330).
Example of a large quote (40 or more words)
According to Kernberg (1989) people with borderline personality disorder are:

…those who present serious difficulties in their interpersonal relationships and some alteration of their experience of reality but with essential preservation of reality testing. Such patients also present contradictory character traits, chaotic coexistence of defences against and direct expression of primitive “id contents” in consciousness (p. 130).

If you have a long direct quote that has words that are redundant to your point, you can omit a section. To do this you need to use three full stops (…) to highlight your omission.

View the video below for how to insert direct quotes including block quotations.