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English Paper Research Guide: Quote Sandwich

What's a Quote Sandwich

What's a Quote Sandwich?

A quote sandwich encourages writers to introduce quotes in their papers and shows how to tie them in as supporting evidence.

Just keep in mind quotes should be the supporter, NOT the supplier, of information in an essay.

*Note: The rules of the quote sandwich apply to paraphrases and summaries as well.

Using a quote sandwich will help your reader:

  • Separate the writer’s ideas from someone else’s ideas.
  • Connect someone else’s ideas to the writer’s ideas.
  • Understand the quote and why it supports the writer’s thesis statement.
  • Explain the context of the quote.

Steps for Using a Quote Sandwich

Steps for Using A Quote Sandwich:


Select a quote that strongly connects to the topic of your paper.


Connect the quote to a main point from your paper.


Introduce the quote by providing the author or organization credentials.


Use a signal phrase before every quote (e.g. "According to Smith..")


Use quotation marks around a quote of two or more words taken directly from the source.


Provide appropriate in-text citations after each quote. MLA: (Smith 2)


Explain what the quote means. Then, use several sentences to explain how the quote applies to the main point of the paragraph and to the thesis statement of the paper.



  • Keep your quotes short, break up large quotes, or paraphrase information to avoid using too many block quotes in your paper.
  • A good general guideline is that 2/3 of the paper is your ideas and 1/3 of the paper is outside sources. Talk to your teacher if you feel the assignment requires more or less information from sources.
  • Separate multiple quotations with discussion sentences. This helps improve the flow of your ideas throughout the paper. 

Quote Sandwich Illustration

The Quote Sandwich Sections

The Quote Sandwich Sections:

1. Top Bread: Introduce your quote, paraphrase, or summary using the author's credentials, where appropriate,and always using a signal phrase. Sharing information about the source can give you and your source more credibility. Examples:

  • A famous physicist from the University of Cambridge, Stephen Hawking states.....
  • According to Smiley (2013)....

2. Filling/Meat/Trimming: Use the quote, paraphrase, or summary.

  • Place "quotation marks" around two or more words directly quoted from a source.'
  • Paraphrase or summarize by writing the source information in your own words. 
  • Provide an MLA  in-text citation following the quote, paraphrase, or summary.

3. Bottom Bread: Explain your quote, paraphrase, or summary in several sentances.

  • Clarify difficult concepts from the quote.
  • Discuss how the source information supports the main point of your paragraph.
  • Redirect the reader back to the thesis statement of the paper.