How To Quote Academic Texts with Complex but Necessary Formatting

How To Quote Academic Texts with Complex but Necessary Formatting
Many of the passages directly quoted from sources in academic and scientific writing can be integrated into the new document very easily. Shorter passages can be entered like any other text, set within quotation marks and embedded in your main discussion, while longer passages can also be typed in as continuous text but indented as block quotations, which do not require quotation marks because their displayed format already indicates that they are quotations. However, some material is more challenging to quote, and this is particularly the case with text that must retain its original format in order to be represented accurately when it is quoted in scholarly writing. Special care must therefore be taken when quoting and effectively formatting text of this kind.
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Poetry is perhaps the most commonly quoted type of text that must retain its original structure when quoted. A single line of poetry can easily be enclosed in quotation marks and embedded in your main text, as ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds,’ the first line of William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, is embedded in this sentence. When, on the other hand, you need to quote more than a single line of poetry, the end of each line must be clearly marked so that the lines retain their original format. There are two ways of achieving this, with displaying the lines as a block quotation being the best option:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
If the poem’s indentation varies in the source, this should be represented by extra indentation in the format of the block quotation, and if any poetic line is too long to fit on a single line in the block quotation and thus runs over onto the next line, the runover part of the line should be indented a space or two beyond the usual indentation to distinguish it from new poetic lines.

Also acceptable, though certainly not as visually effective, is embedding lines of poetry in your main text and then carefully marking each line break with a vertical stroke or forward slash (the latter also known as a solidus): ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds | Admit impediments. Love is not love | Which alters when it alteration finds, | Or bends with the remover to remove.’ As this example demonstrates, quotation marks are required around the quoted material, and a space should be added on either side of each of the vertical strokes.

Passages from a dramatic text, including speaker tags and stage directions, can be quoted in similar ways to retain an original structure that clarifies who is speaking and what each speaker is doing, as can be seen in this quotation:
WILL: ‘Where did she go?’
ROB, looking from side to side: ‘She was just here.’
WILL, looking up and pointing: ‘She’s there.’
Stage directions are often set in italic font, but since that font does not always show up online, I have not used italics here, but instead enclosed the characters’ speech in quotation marks to distinguish them from the other text. Were italics used for stage directions, the quotation marks would be unnecessary and could be eliminated.

Embedding passages that include speech as well as speech tags is not as desirable as displaying them, but it can be an effective strategy if the text is formatted in such a way that it remains clear at all times who is speaking. In a passage from an interview, for instance, uppercase letters can be used to describe the speakers (as they are in the speaker tags of the dramatic passage quoted above), while lowercase letters are used for recording what each speaker said: ‘INTERVIEWER: Were you able to move easily when connected to the equipment? RESPONDENT 1: Yes, most of the time, but a few of the exercises were more difficult. INTERVIEWER: Do you remember which ones presented movement problems?’ As with all embedded quotations, the entire passage should be enclosed in quotation marks.

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