Rules of Quoting in Online Content

Sharing content online should be encouraged as it is a great thing for everyone involved. But that is only true if the author is credited every time the content is shared. This helps the author become famous and motivates them to create even better content.

But sometimes people don’t credit the authors when sharing their content. This could be because they aren’t savvy enough, or it could be that they didn’t know. Many students don’t know about plagiarism before coming to college, so it is not out of the question to think that people “plagiarize without knowing it.”

So, we will do our part to prevent such accidents from happening and educate you on some netiquette for quoting other people.

Quotation Rules

At its core, a quotation is a piece of text written between inverted commas. It is also used verbatim from its source.

And that’s the basics of quoting, but there are a few more steps involved in online quoting.

1.      Addition of a Link

It is not enough to merely use the text verbatim and put it inside quotation marks. That only serves to tell that the text is a quote. But whose quote is it? Where did you find it? These questions still need to be answered. Without providing that information, you have not credited the author yet.

Typically, the name of the author or publication from which the text was taken follows after the quote. Here is an example:

“This is a sample quote, obviously it is not real” random name

Where “random name” is the author’s name. However, in online content, it is not enough to just add the name. You have to add a link to the name which leads to the author’s site, or other works by the author on that site.

Additionally, you can also add a link for the company under which the writer is working. That would look like this:

“This is a sample quote, obviously not real” XYZ publication, random name

The blue text signifies that they are links. This is what a complete quote looks like in online content.

1.      Don’t Mix Up Citations

It is quite easy to mix up the source of a quote with another. Maybe you had to use quotes from two books and the authors’ initials were the same. Or maybe, you had to use so many quotes and cite so many sources that it became difficult to keep track of all of them.

Incorrect citations are considered plagiarism, so they must be avoided. But we have already seen that accidents and mistakes can happen.  But there is one easy way to deal with this problem.

You can get help from a plagiarism check to find the sources of each quote. Since most plagiarism detectors provide links to the sources of plagiarized content, you can use that information to always find the correct source.

The method for check plagiarism is quite simple. You just need to input your content into a tool of your choosing. Then you need to uncheck the “Exclude quotes” option. This makes the tool include the quoted parts in the checking process.

With this method to check for plagiarism, you can easily reverse look up all your quotes and not have any problems with mixing up their sources.

1.      Don’t Use More than a Certain Number of Words in the Quote

When you quote someone’s content on your own blog or site, then take care not to use too many words.

It is considered best practice to only quote one sentence and not more. Quoting entire paragraphs is a big mistake.

The issue is that if too many words are found to be similar between different sites, it can cause issues with content duplication.

Most websites have a certain limit that they ask other authors to adhere to. For example, in the case of HubSpot, they have a requirement that people do not use more than 75 words if they are quoting content from HubSpot.

So, take note of this.

4.      Adhere to Any Content Sharing Guidelines of the Source

2.      Adhere to Any Content Sharing Guidelines of the Source

In the previous heading, we mentioned that some sites have a limit on the number of words allowed on quotes. Similarly, sites may also have other conditions as well,

These conditions can be something like:

  • Requiring a link to both the author’s profile and the company profile
  • Restrictions on making money off of the shared content
  • Linking to the specific URL of the content instead of the homepage

And there could be others as well, as every site has its own conditions. Make sure to follow these guidelines because it is your civil duty to do so. If you are going to use something for free, at the very least you can respect its creator by following their conditions.


And that’s how you can use quotes in your content without risks. There are four things to watch out for, and they are all pretty simple to take care of. All you need is the presence of mind and the decency to appreciate a person that let you use their content for free.

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