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This unit of text should be positioned one half inch from the left margin, and opening and closing quotation marks are not used.The edition (2016) recommends that indented quotations be double-spaced, but many instructors prefer them single-spaced.We provide general guidelines and specific suggestions about blending your prose and quoted material as well as information about formatting logistics and various rules for handling outside text.
You should always be contextualizing all of your outside material with your own ideas, and if you let quotes build up without a break, readers will lose track of your argument. It’s customary in literary analysis to use the present tense; this is because it is at the present time that you (and your reader) are looking at the text.
When quoting, you may alter grammatical forms such as the tense of a verb or the person of a pronoun so that the quotation conforms grammatically to your own prose; indicate these alterations by placing square brackets around the changed form.
In the quotation about at the end of the previous section, “her” replaces the “your” of the original so that the quote fits the point of view of the paper (third person). Lawrence’s maxim, “Books are not life,” the first is not acceptable in some style systems.
For further information, check out our Quoting and Paraphrasing resource, or you may wish to see when the Writing Center is offering its next introductory workshop about the genre of literary analysis.
Additionally, our Short Guide to Close Reading for Literary Analysis offers wonderful insight into how you can read a piece of literature in order to analyze it.