Integrating Quotations

The Literacy Narrative Analysis Project requires that you engage with at least two of our  scholarly readings, which means you’ll be describing/summarizing, paraphrasing, and drawing examples from those texts.  The assignment also asks that you use at least four direct quotations. So, there are many different ways for you to integrate others’ ideas into your own essay.

Today, we’re going to focus on how you get those ideas into your own essays.

Refer to Graff & Birkenstein’s chapter on “the Art of Quoting” (42-51) for their concepts “orphan”or “dangling”  quotations  and creating “frameworks” for quotations. Their templates for introducing  and explaining quotations (46)  as well as their lists of active verbs for attributing ideas (39-40) give you specific tools for integrating others’ ideas.

Use your Little Seagull Handbook “R4: Integrating Sources, Avoiding Plagiarism” (97-108), especially its list of signal verbs (103) to vary the ways you introduce and characterize others’ words and ideas.


Use the highlighter function in Google docs to color code ideas in your essay.

  • Choose one color for any idea not your own (including paraphrased and quoted ideas).
  • Choose a different color for your own claims.

Look at the way you’ve integrated those passages and ideas and revise.

  • Have you attributed the source to its author?
  • Are you using  different  signal verbs, and are they the specific to the way you want readers to think about those ideas?
  • Have you included parenthetical citation to the source?
  • Do you need to use block format? Before you say yes, make sure you’re only quoting what’s significant. Look for parts of the passage you could summarize or paraphrase, leaving direct quotation for only the most unique or important.
  • Do all your signal phrases come at the beginning or end of a sentence? What about putting it in the middle?
  • Make sure you have at least one embedded quotation. See G&B (73-75)

Revise your paragraphs to reflect these ways of integrating passages.

While you’re at it, use the colors to notice how much space is given to other’s ideas as compared to your own.  You can focus on developing claims once you see what they are. Use the TRIAC and BARCLAY’s models of paragraph development, listed on the course site, to help you.