There are many situations where quoted statements and dialogue are not necessary in your text. Most essays, articles and critiques usually don’t require them. Despite that, there may be instances when it is best to incorporate them, especially when you want to quote authoritative sources or are presenting your work in narrative form.
Unlike grammar, for which an English grammar software can easily help you out, there are not a lot of rules for presenting quotes. For the most part, you simply have to make sure that the attribution is clear and that the statements make sense within the context of the material.
There are some guidelines, however, that can probably help you turn in the best work possible:
- Break up quotes that are more than three sentences long into separate paragraphs.
- While some writers choose to quote verbatim (including grammar and speech errors), I lean towards just correcting them. It makes the reader’s experience considerably smoother. The only time I recommend including mistakes is when they will help your overall message (e.g. when you’re characterizing the source as uneducated).
- Remove the nonsensical sounds like “uh…,” “mmm…” and “well….” They’re unnecessary and distracting.
- If a quoted statement repeats the same idea several times (as some speakers are inclined to do), just pick out the one that reads best, use that and discard the rest.