Example of How to Quote a Literary Source to Support Your Analysis
To an extent not found in the other tragedies, the issue is stated in terms of salvation versus damnation. Macbeth knows before he acts that King Duncan's virtues "Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against / The deep damnation of his taking off" (1.7.19-20). After the murder, he is equally aware that he has "Put rancors in the vessel of my peace [. . .] and mine eternal jewel / Given to the common enemy of man" (3.1.68-70). His enemies later describe him as a devil and a "hellbound" (5.8.3). He, like Marlowe's Doctor Faustus before him, has knowingly sold his soul for gain. And, although as a mortal he still has time to repent his crimes, horrible as they are, Macbeth cannot find the words to be penitent. "Wherefore could not I pronounce 'Amen'?" he implores his wife after they have committed the murder. "I had most need of blessing, and 'Amen' / Stuck in my my throat" (2.2.35-37). Macbeth's own answer seems to be that he has committed himself so inexorably to evil that he cannot turn back. Sentence has been pronounced: "Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor / Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more" (46-47).
- Note that the direct quotes from the text are introduced and explained. They are not just dropped in without a connection to the main idea. Look at the underlined portion. The idea is stated, then a quote is provided to support the claim being made.
- If you are quoting from a play, use the act, scene, line format (2.2.35-37) as seen here.
- If you are quoting from a poem, use the line numbers (20-21). (If it is a poem with multiple numbered stanzas, provided the stanza and the line number (4.20-21).
- If you are quoting from a prose work (story, essay, etc.), use the author's last name with the page number of the source. (If your source is from an online publication, use the author's last name. A title is also necessary if you use more than one work by the same author.)
- If you have more than one source from the same author, provide a citation that distinguishes the two. (Othello 3.3.178-180 versus Macbeth 1.3.47-50)
- Do you see the back-slashes (/) in the quotes? This represents where the line ends and a new one starts. However, if a quote is more than four typed lines, you should use the long quote format in which you indent one inch for each line and eliminate the quotation marks, as demonstrated below:
The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step
On which I must fall down or else o'erleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires.
The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. (1.4.48-53)
- The brackets around the ellipses [. . .] show that something has been left out from the original text in the portion being quoted.
Example of How to Quote a Secondary Source to Support Your Literary Analysis
Marianne Moore never perceived she could, or should, force her own views onto the world with her verse. In fact, it is often difficult for readers to extrapolate any exact meaning from the verbal renderings of her subjects. Her goal is to present reality to her readers in a way that made them question what Reality exactly is. There are so many aspects of life, yet human beings often believe they have only one truth because of social conformity of individual views. Moore uses language to tell "the truths (not merely the truth) about reality. [. . .] Moore [is], it would seem, content to live with contradiction, paradox, ambiguity, intuition, ecstasy, and magic because those [are] far closer to the truth than anyone else's abstract precision" (Erickson 2). For her, it is essential to contemplate an inclusive world view of an issue, an idea, or a thing, before one can understand fully. Ironically, because she believes "human access to truth has many avenues, many voices" (Erickson 3), one never completely knows anything; she can only know experiences of them to piece together into a more complete, though still incomplete, "definition." Reality is, therefore, an illusion humans build out of fragmented ideas. What is held to be true is only a manipulated part of a whole, too individual to know completely by all.
- Introduce your quote and comment upon its relation to your argument as seen in the underlined portion. [Think of it as sandwiching your evidence from some one else (quote, paraphrase, or summary) between your own ideas.]
- When leaving a portion of the original text out, adding words, or changing a form of a word (such as a verb form to allow for continuity of verb tense), use brackets to show changes have been made.
- Cite any direct quotes, paraphrases, or summaries with the author's last name and page number. If it is an online text, use only the author's last name. If there is no author, use the title or a shortened version of the title. If you have more than one work by the same author, distinguish between the two by adding the title after the author's last name.
- Make the literary evidence you use (the quotes, paraphrases, and summaries) flow in and out of your own words. Notices how the quotes are incorporated into the sentences--here and on the reverse side with the literary source quotes.