When to Use Direct Quotes

When to Use Direct Quotes A direct quote repeats what the subject of your interview said exactly, and is enclosed in quotation marks. Otherwise, when you paraphrase what was said, quotation marks aren't used — although they are sometimes used around a quoted portion of a paraphrased segment to add emphasis.

The preacher looked out over the crowd, took a deep breath, and commented about how glad he was to see so many “faithful followers” in attendance.

Direct quotes are used:

  • To answer how, what, who, or why questions

  • To include exact or official information, especially when it's important that it come from an obviously authoritative voice

  • When the interviewee's language is particularly descriptive

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