Lead in notes

Including Quotations and paraphrase

When you are using the words of others, there are some things you need to remember:

Ø  Include the author’s last name and page number (MLA)

Ø  Introduce the quote in a way that helps create context for the reader and is geared toward the purpose of your paper

Basic Lead-in for a quotation:

_______________ _________________, “quote” (author’s last name page number).

Author’s name              citation verb


Jeff Hobbs writes, “And Coach Ridley never confronted Rob again about marijuana” (104).

Ø  While this is a satisfactory lead in for the quotation, it doesn’t really do much to help the reader understand what is happening or why this is an important quote. It doesn’t provide any context.

Ø  Sometimes a well thought out citation verb is all you need to create the right amount of context, so consider that citation word carefully. Should you say claims or argues? Explains or elaborates? Decides or considers? Word choice matters here: the word you use should appropriately reflect what is happening but they cannot change it.

Ø  Sometimes the person who said the quote is not the author. If that is the case you need the person who said it to introduce the quote and the author’s late name in the parenthetical citation.

o   Example: Victor explains, “You have to go to Montclair, you go to Montclair” (Hobbs 112).



Better Lead-in options:

Create context by including a what, when, where, or why. Depending on the situation, you might use all of these or just one of these in addition to the who.


In explaining that many adults in Rob’s life stayed out of his day to day affairs, Jeff Hobbs writes, “And Coach Ridley never confronted Rob again about marijuana” (104).

After Rob reacted poorly to his coach’s attempt to “father” him, Jeff Hobbs explains, “And Coach Ridley never confronted Rob again about marijuana” (104).


Write a complete sentence before the quotation to set it up.


Rob struggled to have people interfere in his life after so many years of being fatherless: “And Coach Ridley never confronted Rob again about marijuana” (Hobbs 104).

o   Notice I added the author’s last name in the parenthetical citation because I didn’t use it to introduce the quote.

Begin the sentence with your own words.


Rob proved he wasn’t interested in being parented “and Coach Ridley never confronted Rob again about his marijuana” (Hobbs 104).



Sometimes you might want to paraphrase what the author said. It’s still not your idea, so you have introduce the information and cite it. The same rules apply as for a quotation, you just don’t need quotation marks.


In explaining that adults did not get involved in Rob’s life Jeff Hobbs shares that after a negative reaction from Rob, his swim coach  no longer got involved in his personal business (104).



Return to top