Four Ways to Integrate Direct Quotations

by Carla Mannix | 27 Nov 2017
Resource Description:

This ​handout with worksheet introduces four ways to introduce a direct quotation using a simple signal phrase with a reporting verb and an in-text citation. It includes a memorable template and chart for students to follow.  The selected passage also allows an instructor to address the important first step of actually deciding which sentence in a passage is worthy of quoting. 

Audience: Secondary, University
Audience Language Proficiency: Intermediate, Advanced
Duration: 55 min
Materials and Technology:

1. Handout: How to integrate direct quotations in college writing

2. Examples: Four ways to quote from a published source

3. Worksheet: Practice quoting from a passage


Students who are unfamiliar with integrating information from published sources in their writing need to be guided through the thought process as well as the mechanics of direct quoting.

This activity allows an instructor to address the need to first decide which sentence(s) from a passage is important enough to quote. 

The examples are scaffolded to show increasingly sophisticated ways to present the same information. The examples demonstrate the move from simply presenting a fact to integrating the fact as evidence in order to make a point. 


Students will be able to correctly introduce and create a direct quotation from a published journal article.

Students will be able practice four ways of presenting the same information. They will: 

1. Select one sentence they want to quote from ​a passage from a research journal.

2. Use a signal phrase and/or reporting verb to introduce the sentence. 

3. Put quotation marks around the sentence, unique phrase, or key words.

4. Acknowledge the source with an in-text citation in MLA8 format. 

Activity Description:

1. Review vocabulary: source, integrate, credibility, signal phrase, acknowledgement,

2. Discuss rationale for direct quotations.

3. Explain 3 major components of every quote: Who said it? What was said? Where is it from?

4. Use flow chart to show the variety of ways a direct quote can be formed. 

5. Present examples, if needed.

6. Circulate as students to practice on worksheet.

References: Hershner, S. and Chervin, R. (2014, June 23). Causes and consequences of sleepiness among college students. Nature and Science of Sleep 6, pp.73-84.
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TESOL Interest Section: Second Language Writing