Most of us have experienced some sort of writer’s block at some point in our lives. Whether it was when you were in school and had to write a 10-page report on Moby Dick, or your lecturer gave you an assignment and said, “Finish or perish!”, there’s no doubting that writing is a chore for some of us.
For those of us who suffer from this dreaded malady, the cure is simply to put our pen to paper and start tapping away. However, there are some people for whom writing is difficult, if not impossible. For those individuals, there are several options other than tapping away at the keyboard to cure their writer’s block. One option is to use a tool to mark long quotes.
Let’s say you’ve got this amazing long quote that you simply must mark in your work. Maybe you’ve even got the entire book or essay to quote from. This can be tedious to type out every single quote, especially if it’s a long one. Thankfully, there’s an easier way. You can use a tool to generate a quote mark or citation for you.
Step one: Open up a new document
The first thing you’ll need to do is open up a new document in your chosen program. For this example, I’m going to use Microsoft Word.
Next, you want to insert a blank line about one inch below the first word of the quote. This is going to be the beginning of the end quote. From here, you’ll want to type the quote itself, but leave off the beginning and end quotations. This is so you can add your own thoughts and details to the quote as you work.
Step two: Add a descriptive phrase
Once you’ve got your beginning quote, you’ll want to add a short descriptive phrase that will make it easier for the reader to find the source. For example, if I was researching investment properties in Asia and encountered this quotation:
“It’s all about following the money,” Mrs. Smith said. “That’s what everyone says. Well, maybe not everyone, but it’s what you hear often enough.”
I would place this quote in the context of the entire lecture and add something like:
“Mrs. Smith went on to say that in Asia, following the money can be quite tricky. With all of the different currencies and unofficial economies, it can be hard to know where to place your bets,” I said, typing the word “bet” as I spoke it. “It’s not like the stock market, where you can clearly see the value of a company. Instead, it can be quite a guessing game. And that’s why many people avoid investing in Asia.”
This is better for the reader. They now have a quick reference point to find the source of the information.
Step three: Start a new paragraph below the quote
Now you’ve got your quote marked and described, it’s time to start a new paragraph below it and begin work. When you start a new paragraph, you’re automatically moved to a new page, which is what you want because the beginning of a new page is always easier to start from than a blank one.
This is your chance to add more information about the source or context of the quote.
Step four: Add another blank line
After you start a new paragraph, you can quickly move to another by typing another blank line below it.
Now you’ve got two blank lines below the quote, it’s time to start adding content. What you want to do is begin a new section or chapter and continue adding content until you reach the end of the document. When you finish writing a new section or chapter, you can use these blank lines as a guide to help you indent the new content.
At the end of the day, this is a quick and easy way to add quotes, references, and details to your writing without having to constantly go back and delete and retype everything. It saves you both time and effort, so it’s well worth it.
What software do you use to write?
This method is available in most word processing programs, so it really doesn’t matter which one you use as long as it’s available. Just remember: if you use a different program to edit your work, the steps may be a little different. Typically you would export your work in MS Word as a.doc or.docx file and then open it up in the software you use to edit your work (in this case, WordPress). Once you’re in WordPress, you can click on the Text menu and then select Quote from the list. You can also use the More link at the bottom of the page to access this same list of tools.
Why do you need to use a tool to write long quotes?
Writing is hard work and can often be a tedious process. However, you can make things a little easier by using a tool to generate your quote marks and citations. These tools speed up the process and make writing much smoother and less stressful. They also give you a better chance of getting everything right the first time. If you type out this information by hand or use a basic tool like Word’s “find and replace” feature, you run the risk of making mistakes and having to go back and fix everything. This is especially problematic if you’ve got a lot of text to replace, which can be time-consuming if you’ve got to do it manually.
Should you use an acronym or abbreviation?
Most people think that using an abbreviation or acronym is a bad idea because you’ll never know how to spell or pronounce them correctly. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. These tools will save you both time and effort by making the proper spelling and pronunciation easy to remember. In order to maximize the time you’ve got to spend writing, you want to reduce any unnecessary steps as much as possible. Therefore, it is best to utilize these tools even if you have to spell out the whole word every now and then.
What about an italicized version of the word being used?
If the word being used is difficult to pronounce or spell correctly, you can always use a different word that is easier for you to say or type. Of course, this is something you’ll have to decide on a case by case basis. Just keep in mind that whatever you use, the tool will make the process of finding and inserting it much easier. Italicizing the word can also be a good choice when you’ve got multiple terms that you need to keep track of. For example, if you’re writing a paper about investments in Asia and you come across the following phrase:
“Let’s just say it’s about making money and having some fun with it,” Mrs. Smith said. “I’ve tried to make it about something more than just money.”
You can select the Italicize button on the tool and type out the phrase, “Let’s just say it’s about making money and having some fun with it,” then click on the Spelling button to have the word “money” replaced with “$”. Once you’ve done that, you can continue to use the tool to generate more quotations, details, and references for your work.
Do you need a different kind of quote mark?
No, you don’t need to use any specific kind of quote mark. These tool will make it easy to find the proper quote mark for whatever you need. Some examples of different quote marks are: