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How to Avoid

Quote Dumping
INTRODUCING, INTEGRATING, AND EXPLAINING YOUR QUOTES

We use quotes in our writing to:

Support our claims with textual evidence

Add credibility to our arguments

Show research that is necessary to validate our


opinions

Quote Dumping is:


When a direct quote is essentially
dumped after a claim (or series of
claims) is made, without any actual
introduction or explanation.
This often occurs when a writer feels
that their evidence is self
explanatory, and needs no further
commentary.

Here is a perfect example

Where Dr. Jekyll is good, Mr. Hyde is pure evil.


He commits many bad crimes. The man
calmly trampled the child, and left her
screaming on the ground.

How Quote Dumping hurts your


writing:

It destroys any flow between the writing and the


evidence and/or research.

It creates gaps in logic due to lack of explanation.

It fails to display the actual credibility of your source.

Quote Dumping can easily be


avoided if you follow 3 steps:
1)

Introduce

2)

Integrate

3)

Explain

Introduce:

Introduce direct quotes by putting them into a sentence that you


write yourself. Dont just drop a complete sentence from another
writer into your paper.

This is where you tell the reader that you are about to use a quote,
by introducing the author and its source.

The underlined part of this example is the introduction:

Harold Bloom, prominent literary critic, argues that to suggest Poe was
a poor writer is foolish (Bloom). Here, Bloom suggests that academics
and critics who are critical of Poe would be wise to keep their opinions
to themselves.

Integrate:

Integration is the actual act of blending your words with those of the
source you are using, in order to keep the flow of your essay.

This is a bit more abstract, but is typically referring to the exact


placement of the quote in your sentence.

In the example, the integration is the way that the writers words
transition into the quote flawlessly.

Harold Bloom, prominent literary critic, argues that to suggest Poe was
a poor writer is foolish (Bloom). Here, Bloom suggests that academics
and critics who are critical of Poe would be wise to keep their opinions
to themselves.

Explain:

Explain why exactly the quote is being used, and what makes it
relevant to your argument.

This is accomplished by including some form of reasoning as to the


inclusion of the quote. It can be in its own sentence, or be placed on
the end of the integrated sentence in a way that makes sense.

For the purpose of this example, the explanation has its own
sentence.

Harold Bloom, prominent literary critic, argues that to suggest Poe was
a poor writer is foolish (Bloom). Here, Bloom suggests that academics
and critics who are critical of Poe would be wise to keep their opinions
to themselves.

To help stop yourself from Quote


Dumping, there are some
important questions you have to
ask when using a quote from
textual evidence or research.

1. Do I use the entire sentence?


EX: Sammys determination to stand up to Lengel is clear
when he says, But it seems to me that once you begin a
gesture its fatal not to go through with it (Updike 134).

2. Do I use part of the sentence?


EX: Sammy has mixed feelings about quitting his job but
feels that once you begin a gesture its fatal not to go
through with it (Updike 134).

3. Do I use just a word or phrase in the


sentence?
EX: Sammy considers changing his mind but decides that to
do so would be fatal (Updike 134).

The Answer:
You use a variety of all three throughout your essay!
A common misconception among students is that when using
a direct quote, you must use the entire sentence. NO!
Sometimes you can use the entire sentence, if appropriate,
but you dont always have to.
The important concept to remember here is that when you
use textual evidence, you must INTEGRATE it with your own
writing. A quote cannot stand aloneit cannot be its own
sentence.