9 Tips for Writing and Editing Effective Quotes (2024)

9 Tips for Writing and Editing Effective Quotes (1)

When you're developing a news release, a good quote can make all the difference in giving characterand perspective to yourannouncement. Once you've laid out the what, when, where and who, a quote from a spokesperson fills in the why: why your brand is passionate about an issue, why something needed to be done, why something is significant, why the reader should care.

In the PR News Writer's Guidebook, Pauline A. Howes, associate professor at KennesawState University's School of Communication and Media, provides the following tips to keep in mind for writing and editing quotations for a news release:

  1. Write like real people talk. Be conversational, yet avoid trite, filler language.
  2. Use phrasing that is memorable and helps create a picture in the reader’s mind.
  3. Provide meaningful insights and perspectives in a quote that increase the value of the quote and the likelihood of its pick-up by media. Opinion is fine, but hype is counterproductive.
  4. Avoid jargon, technical and scientific terms that might need further explanation or definition.
  5. Strike a balance with quotation length: Say enough to convey a complete thought, but not too much. Think Goldilocks—not too long, not too short, but just right for the purpose.
  6. Include information that adds detail and depth to the story, not just basic facts that can be covered in the body of the release.
  7. Use a straightforward style when attributing a quote. The verbs “said” and “says” provide a direct way to attribute a quote. The use of attribution phrases such as “according to,” “stated” and “commented” may fit better in a feature article than a news release.
  8. Consider the appropriate tense for the subject and type of news. When referring to a completed action or referring to something that has already happened, use the past tense. For a more timeless tone, the present tense works.
  9. As you do for your entire news release, check your facts and proofread to avoid grammar and punctuation errors or the dreaded typo. And finally, be sure to provide the accurate name and spelling of your cited source.

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9 Tips for Writing and Editing Effective Quotes (2024)


What are the tips for writing a quote? ›

9 Tips for Writing and Editing Effective Quotes
  • Write like real people talk. ...
  • Use phrasing that is memorable and helps create a picture in the reader's mind.
  • Provide meaningful insights and perspectives in a quote that increase the value of the quote and the likelihood of its pick-up by media.
May 9, 2017

What are the rules for editing quotes? ›

Words can be added or changed to a quote by using brackets. Changes can be used to correct tense or to add necessary information. Brackets can also be used to make the pronouns in a quote consistent. However, brackets should not be used to change the meaning of the quote.

What are some quotes about writing and editing? ›

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.” “I never made a mistake in grammar but one in my life and as soon as I done it I seen it.” “You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.” “He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”

How can a quote be effective? ›

Try to summarise sources in most of your work and use direct quotes when they'll have a strong impact. Make it clear to the reader that you understand the quote and its context, and why you've used a quote instead of paraphrasing. Using quotes properly will support your points and improve your assignments.

How to write quotes correctly? ›

Quotation marks, double (“”) or single (''), are generally used for direct quotes, certain titles, and words used in a special manner. Quotation marks are ALWAYS used in pairs, one at the beginning of the quoted text and one at the end. The same rule applies to titles and words used in a special sense or for emphasis.

Why is it important to edit your writing? ›

Editing is important because it helps to ensure that a document is free of grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors. Editing also allows for the improvement of clarity and flow. This is done by rearranging sentences and paragraphs and adding or removing information where necessary.

What is editing in writing examples? ›

Editing involves looking at each sentence carefully, and making sure that it's well designed and serves its purpose. Proofreading involves checking for grammatical and punctuation errors, spelling mistakes, etc. Proofing is the final stage of the writing process.

What are the three parts of an effective quotation? ›

To effectively support an argument, a quotation requires three parts: lead-in, citation, and analysis.

What are the 3 types of quotation? ›

Types of quotes
  • In-text quotes. An in-text quote is a short quote that fits into and completes a sentence you've written. ...
  • Indirect quotes. An indirect quote is when you paraphrase ideas from a source. ...
  • Direct quotes. A direct quote is when you take text directly from a source without changing anything.

What are the 3 rules for using quotations? ›

Direct Quotations
  • Quotation marks always come in pairs. ...
  • Capitalize the first letter of a direct quote when the quoted material is a complete sentence. ...
  • Do not use a capital letter when the quoted material is a fragment or only a piece of the original material's complete sentence.

How do you structure a quote? ›

Start the quotation on a new line, with the entire quote indented 1/2 inch from the left margin while maintaining double-spacing. Your parenthetical citation should come after the closing punctuation mark. When quoting verse, maintain original line breaks. (You should maintain double-spacing throughout your essay.)

What is a good way to start a quote? ›

Introducing Quotations
  • X states, “[blank].”
  • As X puts it, “[blank].”
  • According to X, “[blank].”
  • X writes, “[blank].”
  • In her book/essay [blank], X maintains that “[blank].”
  • Writing in the journal [blank], X complains that “[blank].”
  • In X's view, “[blank].”
  • X agrees when she writes, “[blank].”

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