For Whatever Reason, People Mess up Quoting Definitions

Some serious problems can occur if we’re placing definitions in the wrong spots or failing to quote them properly.  Here are some common (and, since we’re doing definition, common here means 35% or higher incidence from semester to semester) errors:

  • Used words matter, so we quote definitions.
  • The titles of dictionaries get italicized, but those aren’t what go in the citations.  Actually, the cited word would go in the parenthetical citation and would begin its works cited entry.
  • Do not use italics to set off quotes.
  • Callouts like common above get italicized.

Mostly, I’m mentioning this because of the unquoted quotes issue.  Remember, anytime you fail to quote you’re indicating that the words are yours. . . which looks bad when that gaffe is done with the term the entire essay is built upon.