Speaking of citations for a course paper, once you have mastered the skill of citing right, i.e., giving the appropriate credit to the appropriate source in the appropriate way, it will feel not only inappropriate, but plain annoying to look at incorrect quotes on websites, including social media.
Instead of elaborating on why it is important to cite an inspirational quote in your favorite book from a critical edition of the title, consider what sources are out there for finding literary, political, and other famous quotes.
In the “old days” every library had a shelf full of reliable reference sources to make the job a little easier. If you were lucky, you’d find your quote in the most recent edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, arguably the quintessential source, and wouldn’t have to look any further afield. If you weren’t lucky, you could spend hours or even days trying to track down a reliable source.
And then came the Internet; but like the rest of what you’ll find there, all quotation sites are not created equal. See those below for some good starting points.
Curated resources from Rutgers Libraries
Familiar Quotations: a Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature – Based on the 1919, 10th edition, of Bartlett’s, this site offers a keyword search interface, plus a Chronologic Index of Primary Authors, an Alphabetic Index of All Authors, and a Concordance Index to Quotations.
Famous Quotes & Authors – Browse more than 25,000 quotes by author or topic.
Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States – The official series of Presidential writings, addresses, and remarks of a public nature. Messages and papers of the Presidents from 1789 to the most currently available are also accessible via the American Presidency Project; papers from 1929 forward are available from the University of Michigan Digital Library.
Quotations at Bartleby.com – Searchable collection of digital versions of standard quotation resources, most from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Quoteland.com – Search for a quotation, browse a list of authors, or choose a topic. A bibliography of sources is included in the Site Information.
Shakespeare – Searchable collection of works by and about William Shakespeare; including Bartlett’s Shakespeare Quotations and the 1914 Oxford edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
Wikiquote – “A free online compendium of sourced quotations from notable people and creative works in every language, translations of non-English quotes, and links to Wikipedia for further information.”
See more: Biography (Electronic Reference Sources): Quotations & Speeches. Research Guide by Stephanie Bartz.
- Part 1: Cite Right – Workshop in the Library
- Part 2: Cite Right – Confessions of an Edition Ignoramus
- Part 3: Cite Right – Phantom References
- Part 4: Cite Right – Resources from RUL
- Part 5: Cite Right – Misquotes
- Part 6: Cite Right – Images
- Part 7: Cite Right – Predators of Science
Brought to you by Books We Read at Chang.