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36 votes
Accepted

How should I quote American English speakers in a British English essay?

Usually no. When quoting, it is assumed that you are using the original writer's dialect and spelling, since that is a part of what they wrote. The style guides I consulted agree on that point. APA ...
32 votes

What English version of the bible should I quote from?

If you just need a 'generic' bible quote a widely used version like the KVJ as suggested in several other answers is a reasonable default. However, if you're writing fiction and are using ...
31 votes
Accepted

Quote at the beginning of a chapter, is it advisable for fiction novels?

There are some practical problems to consider: 1) Attribution. I don't know who Christiana Baldwin is, but I think that quotation is from Byron, English Bards and Scots Reviewers. 2) Royalties. You ...
31 votes
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What is the meaning of square brackets in quotes?

When quoting something, you are representing that this is what the source of the quote said precisely. As a result, if an alteration to the quote is required for any reason, many people use square ...
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30 votes

Quote at the beginning of a chapter, is it advisable for fiction novels?

A quote (called an epigraph) is added to the start of a book or a chapter when it adds an insight to the story. What kind of insight is up to you: it might be an additional understanding of events on ...
21 votes

What English version of the bible should I quote from?

This gets back to a basic problem, in that there really is no such thing as The Bible; only translations compiled from various copies (which may or may not be consistent with each other). Using the ...
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13 votes
Accepted

Having a character quote an entire stanza of a poem

Format it the same way, with blockquote indents, and if you can add a little dialogue before and after, you don't have to worry about weird quote mark placement. Bilbo stood and cleared his throat. "...
13 votes
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Format when repeating one word from another character's dialogue

In dialogue, either screenplay or novel, you wouldn't distinguish that at all. It is quite common for respondents to repeat a word or phrase from a speaker. Jack said, "I'm going to San ...
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13 votes

What is the meaning of square brackets in quotes?

Basically, the square brackets indicate "this quote was altered to make grammatical sense of the quotation in its new context." One use is to lower-case, or upper-case, the initial letter. ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Why end sentences with commas instead of periods when the sentence is in a quote?

Because you are attaching your speaker tag to the dialogue being spoken. If you were using an action tag, or separating the speaker tag from the dialogue, then the quoted material stands alone and ...
10 votes

What English version of the bible should I quote from?

First of all, this is a much deeper and more contentious question than you probably anticipated, especially if your audience takes the Bible very seriously. See this answer here on Christianity.SE ...
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9 votes

In a novel that I'm writing, can a character quote a line from a movie or TV show?

Copyright is copyright. There are rules that vary depending on your location, and the way in which you make use of the copyrighted material. In the US, check out the copyright law at https://www....
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9 votes

As a new poet, where can I find help from a professional to judge my work?

Go to a local university and speak with a writer in residence or a professor who is well-respected. Take creative writing courses and listen to the feedback. Join a writers group - but remember, ...
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9 votes

Quoting Yourself

You have two choices: Write it up in the same style as the other quotes but don't give an attribution. It is common enough for writers to put something poetic or otherwise different from the main ...
9 votes
Accepted

How can I Include a verbatim passage in my fiction without plagiarizing it?

Don't plagiarize, paraphrase. Take the paragraph, figure out the main idea, and express it in your own words. If it's important that it be exactly as it was in the original, quote it and cite it. In ...
8 votes

Is it appropriate to use real-life quotes in fantasy/sci-fi novels set in alternate worlds?

For your "Houston" example, definitely not if Apollo 13 is not culturally relevant to the person saying it. You can use some sayings from this universe in your universe, for example Keep your ...
8 votes
Accepted

How to indicate that a single letter was removed from a quotation

You could use empty brackets with a space between them. Brackets are generally used to alter a quote inline, such as fixing grammar or to add information like a name so the quoted material will work ...
7 votes
Accepted

Attributing a real quote to a fictional character

There are two issues here: legal and literary. Legally, if the quote has fallen into public domain, there's no problem. If not, you're into the whole nebulous area of "fair use". Someone could ...
  • 25.3k
7 votes

What English version of the bible should I quote from?

Advice that I was given when younger is that when generically quoting the Bible in English, one should always use KJV or NKJV since they're the most widely-known English translations. As it was ...
  • 171
7 votes

How to use a quote with frequent changes

If a word is changed or added, it's placed in brackets. ([]). However, this is typically only done to clarify, usually when context has been removed. For example, if Alice was talking about Bob and we ...
  • 864
7 votes
Accepted

Can I quote an infamous line from a satire written in the 18th century in my novel?

Yes, you are correct. See here for length of copyright: https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-duration.html "Fair use" is complicated ans subject to interpretation by the courts, but for the general ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Many quotations of a black British novel which used creolized English language. When to use sic?

Definitely - not just a phrase but at least a paragraph discussing the language, possibly detailing some characteristic points of it, early on. Also note - they aren't necessarily errors. That's a ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Correct punctuation for he said, she said

No, the complete sentence includes the quote and the attribution: "That's what," he said. "...with a pound of grapes and nothing more," she said. "Where do you think you're going?" said Mother.
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6 votes
Accepted

How to quote something somebody was told by someone else? (Third-party, hearsay)

This is called an indirect (or secondhand) quote. Typically, the advice is to replace it with a primary quote if at all possible. But in an oral recollection like this, it might not be possible to ...
6 votes
Accepted

Term for when you split a quote to say 'said so and so' in Journalism and Reporting?

"Bob Said" is an "attribution". It attributes the spoken words to a particular person. Alternatives include... an "introductory phrese" such as... "According to Bob, " or "Bob reported that " ...
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