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Academic Integrity at TCTC

A Flip-Guide to Ethical Academic Behavior

Using quotations effectively and integrating them into our writing seamlessly is a core skill that most of us don't develop until the college years, but knowing how to do so can strengthen our writing, enhance our argument, and avoid the pitfalls of plagiarism.

While some disciplines use them more freely than others, quotations allow us to place the original text directly into our own written product in order to provide emphasis and clarity or to profit from the expertise of an authority. When inserting a quote, be sure to use quotation marks followed by the in-text citation, as noted below:

“Since many games are in some way educational, the goal should in such cases establish what the player will learn. It is entirely appropriate for the game designer to ask how the game will edify its audience” (Crawford, 1982).

Once the quote is selected, the next step is to integrate that quote into the text that we're creating. Start by introducing the author with an attribution tag.  This tells the reader who this expert is and why their work is relevant to the topic.

According to Chris Crawford, a prominent video game designer in the 1980's, “since many games are in some way educational, the goal should in such cases establish what the player will learn. It is entirely appropriate for the game designer to ask how the game will edify its audience” (Crawford, 1982).

In this way, the reader is informed, and we've provided validity and relevance for our quote. Once this has been established, we can drive our point home by connecting the quotation to our argument. How does the quote relate to our main idea? Why is it so important to include this quote? This is our argument, so we want to make those connections clear.

According to Chris Crawford, a prominent video game designer in the 1980s, “Since many games are in some way educational, the goal should in such cases establish what the player will learn. It is entirely appropriate for the game designer to ask how the game will edify its audience.” (Crawford, 1982). As Crawford illustrates, almost all games have some sort of learning curve. Therefore, establishing a goal or outcome for the game is essential in the game design process.

As we can see, the quote now serves as a support for our argument, rather than a crutch for the writing itself. Proper quote integration allows for a synthesis of scholarly information within our work and maintains the academic integrity of our assignment.

Block quotes are quotations reserved for large excerpts of text, usually of four lines or more. Occasionally, you will want to directly quote a large portion of a source. Block quotes are great when quoting, say, iconic lines from a speech or a scientific expert explaining a complicated process. But beware, block quotes should be used sparingly.  Too many block quotes, or "quote stacking," can appear lazy or imply to the reader that we don't really have command of our subject.