Whether you’re tackling a 10-page final research paper or a short explication of a passage from a novella, your ability to integrate the words of others can signal a great depth of understanding and dexterity with language. Inability to integrate the words of others into your writing is equally consequential. It can exhaust your reader, asking them to guess the significance of the passage to your work and stalling their comprehension, requiring them to guess how exactly you meant the passage to be interpreted.
Enter: quote integration. Quote integration (sometimes called quote weaving) is the ability to provide context for your quote and then lead into that quote with your own words, thereby properly introducing them to the author, the scene, the context, before jumping in. Two things are needed for successful quote integration: 1) a succinct, yet inclusive set-up, and 2) a transitional lead-in. The set-up allows you to introduce your reader to the context and speaker of the quote, and the lead-in allows you to smoothly move from your set-up to the actual quote. Without both of these key elements, the quote integration will fall short and therein undermine the importance and meaning of your quote.
The ability to properly quote integrate shows readers that you fully understand the quote and you want them to understand and appreciate it as well. Don’t make them do extra work by asking them to scan your words prior to the quote, looking for your justification for citing someone else. Make the transition from your words into another’s words seamless. You can of course only do quote integration if you understand the quote well yourself. You will not be able to provide context and know how to phrase the section right before your words end and another author’s begin unless you fully grasp the meaning and suggestions of the quote. If you do understand that, then use the quote integration as an opportunity to provide your reader that same chance by building a set-up and lead-in for each and every quote in your paper.
These instructional slides provide further examples and suggestions on the importance and specifications of creating quote integration.