10 responses to “Back to writing basics: the quote”

  1. Susan

    Great post, Michelle! I used to have the same problem with over-using quotes, especially when the topic was technical and I didn’t want to paraphrase incorrectly. But a teacher once told me that you should paraphrase background info and save quotes for adding flavor or really interesting tidbits.

    I’m curious about your feeling on running two quotes back to back (Example: “Quotequotequote,” says Joe Smith, CEO of X Company. “Quotequotequote.” (new paragraph) “Quotequotequote,” adds Cindy Jones, VP of Marketing at X Company.) You sometimes see this in novels that use a lot of dialogue, but I always thought that for more journalistic writing, you should space out quotes with a transition. Any thoughts? Recently I’ve seen this in a couple of high-profile publications, so that’s why I ask.

  2. Carson Brackney

    I don’t use quotes.
    I use quotations.
    That’s what I call it when I quote someone!

    I just couldn’t resist.

    I know that the noun/verb-quotation/quote debate has been settled in favor of using the terms interchangeably, but there’s this part of me that has a flashback to a specific afternoon in good ol’ Concordia High School and I’m compelled to point out the “official” distinction.

    In terms of the actual post… Good stuff. Great recommendations on how to get the right info in quotations. Looking forward on your tips for getting people to say those facts in the most interesting and arresting ways possible!

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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by michellerafter, michellerafter, Diana and others. Diana said: Super article on getting great quotations in news stories from @MichelleRafter http://bit.ly/b8wXTu #writing… http://goo.gl/fb/l74VR […]

  4. Stacey

    I would love a follow-up to this about the proper way to include quotes/quotations in a piece. There seems to be a lot of “experts” recommending different ways to do it properly. I would love to read your take.

  5. Gregory Hare

    I know this is a little off topic, but is it proper etiquette to quote someone that’s present. I’m asking because people often quote people in interviews and meetings but the person their quoting is present. If the author of the statement is available why would someone quote them? Any rules on this anyone?

  6. Dear WordCount: What's the best way to cover a speech? | WordCount

    […] 10. Understand what makes a good quote. To learn more, read this – Writing basics: The quote. […]