Choosing and Using Quotes

Quotes will be used to support your reporting of the costs and benefits of a higher minimum wage.  Perhaps something like:

In a Sept 4, 1945 New York Times Op-ed D. Miller refers to an Alabama study that shows “13 people lost their job for every robot used in the factory.” 

Note the in-text citation.   That is fine for this paper as quotes are coming from one of the two articles I gave you.  All quotes need context and explanation as to why the readers should care.  If we build on the last example, the next sentences might read:

Although that study was in the car industry we could expect the same result in other assembly factories.  Robots might not be able to replace the many workers in the retail, restaurant or service industry.

How to decide what quote to use:

Anecdotes – This would be a story or example that illustrates what happened in one situation.  It may or may not be generalizable.  Anecdotes can hook the readers’ interest, or illustrate a theoretical possibility but are not strong evidence for making policy decisions.

Data – Stronger than anecdotes as proof of policy outcomes.  When presenting data context becomes very important.  Include where the data is from, when, and exactly what was being measured.  When possible include absolute data, such as, “13 people lost their job for every robot employed”, and relative data, for example “that is a loss of 20% of the workers in that industry.”

Studies – This can be the most robust support for policy positions given the study was well done.  The whole study does not have to be recounted in your paper.  The reader needs the outcome or results and a brief explanation of the experimental design.  For example,

A 1943 study in an Alabama car manufacturing plant found that over a 6-month time span every robot installed resulted in the layoff of 13 workers. 


Following the passage of a mandatory helmet law for motorcyclist in Texas in 1985, motorcycle accident deaths fell by 27% and organ donations also fell but only by 8%. 


All quotes need to be cited withiQUOTATION MARKS 08n the text.  This can be done by refering to the author within the surrounding sentence or text.  Or the citation can follow the quote with the author and page number, for example ” blah, blah, blah.” (Miller, p14)

If it is a one page article no page number is needed.  For articles I have handed out with the assignment that is enough attribution.  If a quote or data is from an article you have found then it needs to be cited within the text and have an endnote.

Endnotes can take the following forms:



Website, Video or Podcast


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