Don’t Float Your Quotes!!!



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Don’t Float Your Quotes!!!

(Adapted from Jane Schaffer)

Effectively incorporating quotes into writing can be tough. Sometimes writers leave quotes “floating” or unattached to a sentence which causes confusion and usually results in a loss of meaning. Here are three strategies to help you better incorporate quotes into a paper instead of leaving them floating:

Method 1: Identify the speaker of the dialogue before the quotation. (when + who + said, + “Quote”+ (page). Don’t forget your quotations marks!

During the reaping Katniss gasped, “I volunteer as tribute!”(22).

Before leaving for the capital, Gale gives Katniss advice by saying, “Getting a knife should be pretty easy, but you’ve got to get your hands on a bow. That’s your best chance”(39).

By excluding herself from the group and Peeta, Katniss realizes her concern for him and admitted, “All of a sudden, I’m overwhelmed by the thought that Peeta may already be lost, bled white, collected, and in a the process of being transported back to the Capitol to be cleaned up, redressed, and shipped in a simple wooden box back to District 12” (153).

1 “I’m sorry, I would love to dance, but I have to leave. It’s twelve o’clock, and I

don’t want my coach to turn into a pumpkin!” Cinderella

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2. “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” The Big Bad Wolf

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3. "You can't catch me. I'm the Gingerbread Man!" The Gingerbread Man

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4. “I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog too.” The Wicked Witch of the West

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5. Write your own: Pick a quote from your favorite movie.

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Don’t Float Your Quotes!!!

Method 2: The sentence that precedes the colon explains the writer’s point; what follows is his evidence. (Explain: “Quote” (page). DO NOT SAY SAID OR THOUGHT.

Example: Out of fear for her sister’s life, Katniss makes an important decision: “I volunteer as tribute!”(22).

Gale gives Katniss important advice: “Getting a knife should be pretty easy, but you’ve got to get your hands on a bow. That’s your best chance” (39).

By excluding herself from the group and Peeta, Katniss realizes her concern for him: “All of a sudden, I’m overwhelmed by the thought that Peeta may already be lost, bled white, collected, and in a the process of being transported back to the Capitol to be cleaned up, redressed, and shipped in a simple wooden box back to District 12” (153).

6. “Oh, that's great, blame it on the little guy. How original. He must've read the schedule wrong with his one eye.” Mike

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7. “My, what big teeth you have!” Little Red Riding Hood

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8. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” The Evil Witch from Snow White.

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9. "I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food." Bruce

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10. Write your own: Pick a quote from your favorite movie.

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Don’t Float Your Quotes!!!

Method 3: Blend the text as if the words were already a natural part of your own sentence. Your sentences needn’t contain every word of every quote that you use for support. Chop up these quotes into smaller fragments and they will blend into your response more smoothly. Highlight the important part of the quote!

Indicate changes you make in the body of your quote with brackets, ([ ]) and omissions with an ellipsis (…). Ellipses needn’t go at the beginning or the end of a quote. Don’t be afraid to make changes – they are necessary for blending effectively.



Example Everyone in the crowd at the reaping was surprised to see that Katniss “volunteer[ed] as tribute!”(22).

Watch out for and avoid tip-off words like says, tells, thinks, or quotes. These words indicate that a quote is coming and tip off the listener. However, if one uses the word that properly, this can be avoided. For example:


Examples Gale believed that in order for Kantiss to have her “best chance,” he wants her to “get” her “hands on a bow” (39).

After having separated from the group, Katniss suddenly becomes concerned “that Peeta may already be lost, bled white, collected, and in a the process of being transported back to the Capitol to be cleaned up, redressed, and shipped in a simple wooden box back to District 12” (153).

11. “"That wasn't flying! That was... falling with style!" Woody

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12. "Sunnyside is a place of ruin and despair, ruled by an evil bear who smells of strawberries!" Toy Story 3

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13. "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."...” Dory

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14 “Oh, I don't know why, but I've always loved the idea of summer, and sun, and all things hot... “ Olaf ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

15. Write your own: Pick a quote from your favorite movie. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




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