Finding and Verifying Quotes

Whether for the annual Inspirational Quotes Contest or finding quotes for a paper or speech ... Choose quotes that can be verified.

To verify a quote, one needs to have who said it, where it was said and when it was said so readers can find the original quote.

Most people turn to free Web sources or "quote a day calendars" to find quotes. Usually these types of sources attribute the quote to an individual, but do not give enough information to check if the quote is correct. Verifiable quotes have citations to help find the original quote.

Here are two quotes with citations from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Sixth Edition (2004):

"Ev'ry corner that you turn you meet a notable
With a statement that is eminently quotable!" (Ira Gershwin, 'Of thee I sing' (title of song and show, 1931)

". . .It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations." (Winston Churchill, My Early Life (1931) ch. 9)

With the citations given, one can locate the lyrics of the Gershwin song or the book and chapter by Winston Churchill and check if the quotes are correct.

Finding and Citing Quotes

One can always take a quote directly from a book, song, speech, interview, etc. and then cite it using MLA, APA, or other citation formats. If you want quotation sources that are collections of quotes that give good citations and can be searched by author or topic, try one of the selected sources below.

Print Sources in the Library

Quotation Books On the Reference Shelves (upstairs):

Quotation Books In the General Collection (downstairs):

Online Quotation Books Through the Databases

Credo Reference Book Collection contains eight online quotation books. Find them under the quotation subject list of books. They can be searched by keyword or subject. Cite the quotes through a link to EasyBib. Books included:

  • Bloomsbury Biographical Dictionary of Quotations
  • Bloomsbury Thematic Dictionary of Quotations
  • Chambers Classic Speeches
  • Collins Dictionary of Quotations
  • Rawson's Dictionary of American Quotations
  • Respectfully Quoted
  • Ripples of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches
  • Simpson's Contemporary Quotations

Web Resources

Be careful! Most free Websites do not have adequate citations.

The Bartleby site verifies quotations with citations from the following online books:

Furman University's, Mathematical Quotations Server. Well cited quotations in mathematics.

Westfield State College's Mathematical and Educational Quotation Server. Well cited quotations on mathematics and education.

Garson O’Toole's, Quote Investigator, blog investigates quotes. Search the bolg for investigated quotes or request new investigations.

The Phrase Finder. Many quotes are actually restated old sayings and expressions. Use the Phrase Finder to look up phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions.

Summer 2014 LMS


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