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.
Increase Your Chances of Getting Published
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.
Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At Proof-Reading-Service.com we pride ourselves on our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. Our proofreaders and editors are highly educated native speakers of English and their areas of specialisation range so widely that we are able to help our clients improve and perfect all kinds of research manuscripts for successful publication. Many members of our team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, ensuring that formatting and references conform to author guidelines with precision and correcting grammar, punctuation, spelling and simple typing errors so that our customers are able to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions editors and earn publication.
Our editing services for authors of scientific papers and books are especially popular, but we have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit books in every scholarly discipline as well as beyond them, and some of our carefully trained proofreaders and editors work exclusively on helping students improve the formatting and language of their theses and dissertations. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation or publication, polishing a professional report to share with your colleagues, or tackling the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of academic or scientific document, a qualified member of our expert team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work. Our translation services for scientific and academic documents have also proven immensely helpful for many of our international clients.