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Citing a Quote Within a Quote: Proper Citation Guidelines

December 3, 2023 by JoyAnswer.org, Category : Writing

How do I cite a quote within a quote? Learn the proper citation format for quoting a source within a quote. Understand the citation rules and guidelines for accurate referencing.

Citing a Quote Within a Quote: Proper Citation Guidelines

How do I cite a quote within a quote?

When citing a quote that contains another quote within it, you need to handle the citations appropriately to maintain clarity. Use double quotation marks for the main quote and single quotation marks for the quote within it. Additionally, provide proper attribution for both quotes.

Here's an example in APA format:

Original Quote:Smith stated, "According to Johnson, 'The key to success is perseverance.'"

In-text citation:(Smith, Year, as cited in Johnson, Year)

Explanation: In this case, Smith is quoting Johnson. The in-text citation acknowledges that Smith is the source you've read, but Johnson is the original source of the inner quote.

Always ensure your citations are clear and provide enough information for readers to locate the original source. Depending on the citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.), the format might slightly vary, so it's essential to follow the specific guidelines of the style you're using.

Nested Quotes: A Formatting Guide for Clarity

Nested quotes, where you quote someone quoting someone else, can be tricky to format and maintain clarity. But fear not! Here's a roadmap to navigate this academic terrain:

1. Formatting Guidelines:

  • Double and single quotes: Your main quote goes inside double quotes, while the nested quote receives single quotes. This creates a clear hierarchy of voices.
  • Punctuation: Place commas and periods inside the closing single quote of the nested quote. Semicolons and colons go outside both sets of quotes.
  • Attribution: Include the source for both the main and nested quotes within the parentheses of your main citation. Use separate entries if they're from different sources.
  • Example: "As Smith (2023) argues, 'Jones (2022) emphasizes that 'climate change poses a significant threat to global security.'"

2. Maintaining Clarity:

  • Context is key: Briefly introduce the nested quote before diving in. Who is being quoted and what are they saying about the original quote?
  • Avoid ambiguity: If the nested quote is ambiguous or open to interpretation, add your own explanation or analysis to clarify its meaning within your argument.
  • Brevity is your friend: When possible, paraphrase or summarize the nested quote instead of directly quoting it. This can improve readability and flow.
  • Signal the shift: Use phrases like "according to Jones," "as Brown points out," or "as Smith highlights" to introduce the speaker of the nested quote and maintain a clear thread of voices.


  • Consistency is crucial. Choose a style guide like APA or MLA and stick to its specific formatting rules for nested quotes.
  • Clarity is king. While proper formatting matters, ultimately ensure your nested quotes enhance your argument and are easily understood by your reader.

By following these guidelines and prioritizing clarity, you can effectively use nested quotes to add depth and nuance to your academic writing, showcasing your grasp of complex source material and strengthening your analysis.

Tags Quoting Source Within Quote , Citation Guidelines

People also ask

  • Where can I find more information on APA style?

    More information on APA Style can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.) and the Concise Guide to APA Style (7th ed.). Created Date 09/21/2022 12:27:00
    Find a plethora of resources to expand your understanding of APA style. Discover authoritative sources and references to guide you in adhering to APA guidelines for academic writing and citation. ...Continue reading

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