Content creators need to know how to write a quote – a statement from another person or source.
Quotations can be used to support an argument, make a case, or as a testimonial. You’re not putting words in that person’s mouth. Rather, you’re citing what that person has already said.
But what to quote? How much should you quote? How should you structure the quote?
This is a particularly strategic skill for nonfiction writers and bloggers. A direct quote from an authoritative source on your topic reinforces your point. When you know how to write a quote, you’re able to give credit where credit is due.
Then there’s conversational writing, which leans heavily on dialogue. Conversational writing is not for fiction only. These days readers expect a conversational style when they read an email, web page, text, blog, social media post and even ads, direct mail, and consumer newsletters.
Which means you need to know how to write a quote.
Carefully-chosen quotes can underscore your point by providing a memorable voice.
Use this quick tutorial to insert a quote into your content.
Show when or where the speaker made his statement.
The three bears marched upstairs and barged into the bedroom. “Someone has been sleeping in my bed,” growled Papa Bear. By now, he was tired and hungry.
Incorporate the quote into the text and include a comma before attribution.
“Someone has been sleeping in my bed,” murmured Mama Bear, as quoted in "The Authoritative Goldilocks and the Three Bears."
You can also use attribution to break up the quote.
“Someone has been sleeping in my bed,” cried Baby Bear. “And there she is!”
Place quotes of four lines or more in a free-standing block of text and omit quotation marks.
I was so tired after my long walk in the woods and came upon your cottage. The entrance is so charming and inviting, so I came inside. Then I came inside and saw the delicious porridge. I was so hungry I simply couldn’t resist. As I walked through, I saw the charming furniture in your living area and sat down for a few minutes. But then, I grew sleepy. I thought if I could just find a bed, I could rest for a short while before returning home.
If you leave out words from a quote, replace them with an ellipsis (a set of three or more dots.)
“Someone has been … in my bed,” cried Baby Bear. “And there she is!”
“The bears woke me up,” cried Goldilocks.
“The Papa Bear growled, ‘Someone has been sleeping in my bed’
and he woke me up,” cried Goldilocks.
More Tips for Writing Quotes, Testimonials, and Attribution
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