Don’t know how to fit that perfect quote into your sentence? Check out these five tips:

1. Introduce a quotation with a complete sentence followed by a colon.
Make sure to use a colon (:), not a semicolon (;) or a comma (,) in this situation.

Example:
She summed up her Saint Mary’s experience with glowing praise: “They were the best and most influential years of my life.”

2. Introduce a quotation with an introductory phrase (not a complete sentence) and a comma.
In this case, you will usually include a verb like “says,” “writes,” “yells,” and so on. Put a comma (,) after these verbs.

Example:
After describing what her life was like at Saint Mary’s, she sums up her experience when she says, “They were the best and most influential years of my life.”

3. Integrate a quotation into your own writing without punctuation.
The word “that” is a common way of integrating a quote into your sentence, but not the only way.

Example:
After describing what her life was like at Saint Mary’s, she sums up her experience when she says that “they were the best and most influential years of my life.”

4. Quote only short phrases and add them to your sentence without punctuation.
Sometimes it’s best to take the most significant words from a quote and cut the rest.

Example:
Although she proudly affirms that her four years at Saint Mary’s were her “best and most influential,” she still found the experience challenging.

5. Block quotes for long quotations
Use sparingly. The format of a block quote depends on the style you choose (MLA, APA, Chicago), so look at those guides for specific formatting information.

Example:
She describes her experience at Saint Mary’s as challenging but rewarding:

They were the best and most influential years of my life. I learned a lot about who I was and what I wanted to achieve in life. Of course, it wasn’t always fun and easy. I was constantly challenged intellectually, and there were only so many hours in each day to complete what I needed to. Even so, I became a better person by never giving up.