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Cute Quotations and Poetry Quotations in Essays

Do's and Don'ts

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Using Cute Quotes
For over a decade, I have observed students write essays. Some students choose a cute quotation first, and then try to plug it into their essay. As a consequence, such quotations drag the reader away from the essay.

Quoting poetry
Quoting a verse from a poem can add a lot of charm to your essay. I have come across writing that acquires a romantic edge merely by including a poetic quotation. If you are quoting from poetry, keep in mind that:

A small extract of a poem, say about two lines long, requires the use of slash marks (/) to indicate line breaks. Here is an example:

Charles Lamb has aptly described a child as "A child's a plaything for an hour;/ Its pretty tricks we try / For that or for a longer space; / Then tire, and lay it by." (1-4)

If you use a single line extract of a poem, punctuate it like any other short quotation without the slashes. Quotation marks are required at the beginning and at the end of the extract. However, if your quotation is more than three lines of poetry, I would suggest that you treat it like you would have treated a long quotation from prose. In this case, you should use the block quote format.

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