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Citation style in long quotes
Thread poster: zabrowa
zabrowa
Local time: 21:43
Jan 2, 2009

So, I am editing an English-language paper by a respected non-native writer, and, I wonder if his way of citing long quotations (in regards to the period usage) is correct.

Here's how he does it:

I assume an approach to this topic should be "as boring as possible, without being intelligible." (Smith, 2009).

Where I generally do it this way (i.e. sans the first period):

I assume an approach to this topic should be "as boring as possible, without being intelligible" (Smith, 2009).

What do you think? Is this just a stylistic question, or is there a correct answer? I don't have the CMS here. Thanks!


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Laurie Price  Identity Verified
Mexico
Spanish to English
+ ...
this is what I'd do: Jan 3, 2009

How to use punctuation marks with quotations:

Periods and commas: Place periods and commas at the end of quotations inside the quotation marks—the only exception would be when you have a citation afterwards, in which case the period or comma would go after the citation.

Hope this helps Matt -- it comes from an American university (UMUC) style guide, based, most probably, on AP style -- the most straightforward guide that I know of, used in journalism.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
page numbers? Jan 3, 2009

Matt Coler wrote:

So, I am editing an English-language paper by a respected non-native writer, and, I wonder if his way of citing long quotations (in regards to the period usage) is correct.

Here's how he does it:

I assume an approach to this topic should be "as boring as possible, without being intelligible." (Smith, 2009).

Where I generally do it this way (i.e. sans the first period):

I assume an approach to this topic should be "as boring as possible, without being intelligible" (Smith, 2009).

What do you think? Is this just a stylistic question, or is there a correct answer? I don't have the CMS here. Thanks!


These aren't "long" quotations, which, as a general rule are placed as a separate and indented paragraph. This example is a short one (a few words), which should apply the punctuation of your sentence (as you have done).

Another issue though: when you quote directly, using the EXACT words of the author, it's normal to provide page numbers. That's my understanding. It's not like making a general statement and then citing the work. It's that author's exact words. This issue has consistently caused me a lot of problems, but since my authors' citations of exact words are usually in one of my source languages, I can simply get round it by translating the general idea and removing the quotes. However, wnen authors cite exact words in English, I always ask them to cite page numbers.


[Edited at 2009-01-03 03:10 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-01-03 03:12 GMT]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:43
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree with Lia Jan 3, 2009

I.m.o. it is correct as the writer does it, because that first period belongs with the quote by Smith; the second period indicates the end of the writer's sentence. By the way, there is a word missing in that sentence: I assume THAT an approach to this topic....

I agree with Lia with regard to including page numbers when quoting someone's words verbatim.


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John Di Rico  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:43
Member (2006)
French to English
"that" is an optional complementizer, pages quoted in works cited Jan 3, 2009

Tina Vonhof wrote:

By the way, there is a word missing in that sentence: I assume THAT an approach to this topic....

I agree with Lia with regard to including page numbers when quoting someone's words verbatim.



"that" is optional in this sentence. My high school English teacher even encouraged us to take it out. Here is an explanation from wikipedia:
Empty complementizers

Some analyses allow for the possibility of invisible or "empty" complementizers. An empty complementizer is a hypothetical phonologically null category with a function parallel to that of visible complementizers such as that and for. Its existence in English has been proposed based on the following type of alternation:

He hopes you go ahead with the speech
He hopes that you go ahead with the speech

Because that can be inserted between the verb and the embedded clause, the original sentence without a visible complementizer would be reanalyzed as

He hopes øC you go ahead with the speech

This suggests another interpretation of the earlier "how" sentence:

I read in the paper øC [it's going to be cold today]

where "how" serves as a specifier to the empty complementizer. This allows for a consistent analysis of another troublesome alternation:

The man øC [I saw yesterday] ate my lunch!
The man øC [I saw yesterday] ate my lunch!
The man that [I saw yesterday] ate my lunch!

where "OP" represents an invisible interrogative known as an operator.

In a more general sense, the proposed empty complementizer parallels the suggestion of near-universal empty determiners.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complementizer

Matt, your way of quoting is the APA style. The non-native writer could be using a native language convention. Best to choose between MLA or APA depending on the field. With APA, you qoute the page numbers in your works cited.

Happy new year!

John


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Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:43
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
CMS Jan 3, 2009

This is what's called a run-in quotation, and CMS would have you use only one period: "No period preceding source. After a run-in quotation, the source is usually given after the closing quotation mark, followed by the rest of the surrounding sentence or the final punctuation of that sentence."

For a block quotation, the closing punctuation follows the end of the quotation, and the "opening parenthesis [of the citation] appears after the final punctuation mark of the quoted material. No period either precedes or follows the closing parenthesis."

Furthermore, CMS would recommend you omit the comma in the parenthetical reference. "An author-date citation in running text or at the end of a block quotation consists of the last name of the author, followed y the year of publication of the work in question....No punctuation appears between the author and the date....when a specific page number is cited, it follows the date, preceded by a comma."


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