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Quotations in Extended Writing Tasks

Quotations in writing tasks occur, and must be used, when you take the words or ideas from a person and use those words or ideas in your writing.

Make sure that you copy out correctly any quotations you wish to use. Quoting from a source does not only mean using the exact words. Taking another's ideas and putting them into your own words is also quoting and you must acknowledge the source from which you have obtained this idea. This includes information taken from the internet whether written or pictorial.

If you do not then you can be accused of plagiarising. This often leads to a mark of zero for any research piece you may present without acknowledgments.

This is not to say, however, that you must acknowledge every little idea that you include in the essay. You must acknowledge only the outstanding or directly quoted ideas which are not "common knowledge" but "unique" to that writer. One area which is often is that of statistics. You must still acknowledge where you have obtained any statistics you may use.

Listing of the quotation references can take two forms.

Footnoting - firstly it may be acknowledged at the foot of the page on which it occurs. This is called footnoting. In this case the number allocated to each footnote begins with the start of each page so that you may have footnotes numbered one to three on one page but only one on the next, nothing on the next and then three or four on the next.

Endnoting - the second method is to have a separate sheet or sheets of paper at the end called Notes or Endnotes and number all acknowledgments from the beginning of the paper in sequence to the end. It is easier for the student to use endnoting as this does not require juggling the length of the written page to allow sufficient space for footnotes. However, most wordprocessing programs have footnoting built in to them and are easy to use once you familiarise yourself with them.

In your writing you indicate the quotation in several places. Firstly, in the body of the task. If the quote is a direct quote then it is placed in inverted commas either in the context of a sentence or in between paragraphs if it is a long quote. You may need to rationalise a long quote and leave some of it out. More on this later.


Over the next few years Brisbane became the economic centre of the state reducing the importance of the major outports so that by 1930 there was no longer "a Northern, Central and Southern market" (19) but instead a Queensland market had been created.

In this example the quote "a Northern, Central and Southern market" has been placed in the full context of a sentence. The quotation marks stand either side of it so that it is isolated and a number, in this case (19), has been placed alongside the end of the quote to indicate that this is foot or endnote number nineteen in the writing. There is then put in the writing, as either a footnote or endnote, the following:

(19) J. B. Brigden, Commissioner of Enquiry, quoted in G. Lewis, A History of the Ports. of Queensland : a Study in Economic Nationalism , (St. Lucia, Qld., 1973), p. 219.

What this foot or endnote tells us is that

- this quote was from a book by J. G. Lewis, called A History of the Ports of Queensland: a Study in Economic Nationalism , (remember that the names of books are always underlined).

- J. G. Lewis is actually quoting someone else, in this case J. B.Brigden. - the book was published at St. Lucia in Queensland in 1973.

- the quote can be found on page 219 of J. G. Lewis' book.


They quickly adapted the concept of palleting and containerisation to the road haulage industry employing subcontractors "either on a permanent or itinerant basis" (8) rather than owning their own vehicles.

This is then listed in the foot or endnoting as

(8) J. Rimmer, Freight Forwarding in Australia , (Canb., 1973), p. 16.

What this foot or endnote tells us is that

- this quote was found in the book Freight Forwarding in Australia which was written by J. Rimmer,

- the book was published in Canberra in 1973.

- the quote can be found on page 16 of the book.

Using someone else's ideas or statistics is dealt with in just the same manner.


Under the International Sugar Agreement Australia's export quota of sugar before the war was 415,000 tons. Actual production was, in fact, many thousands of tons in excess of that figure (6).

In this example no direct quote has been made but the ideas contained in the sentence have been used and put into the author's own words from someone else's writing and research. The statistics have been extracted from the original text and used. The foot or endnoting remains the same method even though there are not "actual" quotes.

(6) N. L. McKellar, From Derby Round to Burketown., The A U S N Story , (St. Lucia, Qld., 1977), p. 424.

The point of foot and endnoting, besides acknowledging the sources, is that the reader can go to the book mentioned, find the page, and read about it themselves.

The third method of putting references in is usually used in Universities rather than High Schools but is becoming more common. In this method the author is acknowledged after the quotation or use of an idea and the reader must refer to the bibliography to find out to whom it refers.


The greater number of poorer residents living in the slum areas surrounding Jaipur suffer from various infectious tropical diseases all year round (Harris, 1967).

In this case the reader looks in the Bibliography for a book by someone Harris which was published in 1967. This method does not give the full page reference and can sometimes be very confusing as there may be more than one book or monograph published by Harris in that year in the bibliography.

When quoting from an encyclopaedia always include the volume number and page number. Your entry would therefore read

The WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPAEDIA , Volume 14, p. 208.

If you are using several quotes from the same book you list them as follows. The first time you use the book you quote it in full. Then the next time you use it you can shorten the details. If, however, you are quoting different pages from the same book one after another or different quotes from the same page you do it as follows:

J. Bach. A_Maritime History of Australia , (West Melbourne, 1976), p. 342.

E. R. Walker, The Australian Economy in the War , (Sydney., 1947), p. 23

Bach, A Maritime History of Australia , p. 221. (second time)

ibid . (third time, now following straight on from the above using the same book and page)

ibid ., p. 282. (fourth time, same book, different page)

When using quotations in essays, sometimes the quotation is long and may not all be particularly useful. Rather than write the whole thing out, some may be omitted making sure that you indicate this to the reader. This is done by writing the relevant part of the quote then inserting an ellipsis (...), three full stops, preceded and followed by a space.

Example - The full quote from the book was

"Darius sent the artful Histiaeus to the coast, where his wiles did not deceive Artaphernes, and prepared three army groups under the command of Daurises, Hymeas, and Artybius."

The most useful part of the quote many only be some selected parts. It is therefore written as:

"Darius sent ... Histiaeus to the coast ... and prepared three army groups under the command of Daurises, Hymeas, and Artybius."

In this way the padding which may not add a great deal to the essay can be deleted and the writing made much more succinct.


The foot and endnotes can also be used to put explanatory notes in without disrupting the flow of the writing. This is usually used to add detail.


"Further delays and expensive 'down' time was incurred by the order for all ships to install degaussing equipment and paravanes (23)."

Most people reading this book would not know what "degaussing equipment and paravanes" were, so the writer puts into the foot/end notes the following reference.

(23) Degaussing equipment is a belt or girdle of wire wound around the hull of a ship and energised by an electric current to neutralise a ship's magnetism and render it immune to magnetic mines. A paravane is an apparatus towed from the bows of a ship at a predetermined depth which has saw-edged jaws which cut the moorings of submerged mines thus removing them from the path of a ship.

Obviously to put all this into the body of the essay would be confusing and unnecessary.

Example "There were altars to the Twelve Gods (3) in the Agora but there were also many other shrines and altars to various Greek Gods."

Then appears (3) and a list of the Gods naming them specifically.

Foot and End Notes can be very useful in providing additional information this way but must never be overused. They are not a substitute for your written task.