Do I Need Quotation Marks When I Quote Myself?

Quotes can be a great addition to many forms of writing. It would definitely be useful to know when they work well and when quotation marks might be needed. This article will explore whether you need quotation marks when you quote yourself.

Do I Need Quotation Marks When I Quote Myself?

You need quotation marks when you quote yourself in an essay paper or other formal written piece. The subject of the quote is irrelevant to the need for quotation marks. They should always be used to show that you are plucking information from some point in the past.

Quotation Marks When I Quote Myself

Let’s say that you included the following phrase in your essay:

  • There were times when this was needed.

Now, let’s say you’ve written another few hundred words, and you’ve realized that you can link back to something you said in a previous section. Even though you were the one that said it, it’s still appropriate to use quotes like so:

  • I mentioned, “there were times when this was needed.”

This only applies to direct quotes that take the words exactly as written. If you use an indirect quote (meaning you change some of the wording), quotation marks aren’t required:

  • I mentioned that there were times when we needed it.

How to Properly Quote Yourself in a Sentence

If you want to quote yourself in a sentence properly, it makes sense to include a starting phrase. Something like “I said” or “I mentioned” works better informally. Formally, you’ll want to introduce it smoothly into a sentence without much extra “baggage” in your writing.

Informally, you can generally use introductory phrases like “I said:”

  1. I said, “We could always change the way that we do these things.”
  2. I mentioned, “someone has got to pay for these changes.” I stand by that thought even now.
  3. In my introduction, I said,” there were a few things to discuss here.” I believe I’ve discussed that all now.
  4. We said, “she couldn’t have done this alone,” and we were right about that.
  5. I told you, “it is going to get more difficult than you realize,” but you didn’t want to believe me, did you?

Formally, it’s better to make the quote seem to flow into the sentence:

  1. “There are times that will be difficult” to us, and it shows because of how things might look.
  2. It is best that “we do not change the way we do these things” to make sure that everything works out well.
  3. “It’s getting easier,” and it will continue to progress as long as we all work together on what matters.
  4. I thought she needed “space to get this done alone,” but I guess I was wrong about that.
  5. It was easy to “notice the differences in the projects” because of how much work was put into them.

You can also use introductory phrases in formal writing, but many people prefer to make their quotes flow.

Is It OK to Quote Yourself?

There is no reason why you cannot quote yourself. It is always possible to refer to a previous passage in your writing or relate back to something you said. It works both formally and informally, though it’s more common in essays or formally written papers.

You’ll often be instructed to quote yourself if you refer back to something you said. It’s also a great way to show an examiner that you are paying attention to the things you are writing.

Some people will forget some of the earlier words in their essay, meaning they won’t be able to link back to them in a meaningful way. If you can not only link back to them but quote what you said as well, then you are allowing your essay to come full circle.

The best essays are the ones that are written in a way that links back to themselves from beginning to end.

Is Quoting Yourself Arrogant?

It is not arrogant to quote yourself. In fact, it’s a useful tool that many people use when they are quoting something that they previously said. It might come across as slightly more arrogant informally because it’s not common that you would ever use quotation marks.

Formally, you’re almost expected to be able to use quotation marks correctly. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with quoting yourself when relating back to something you have previously said.

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Do You Use Quotation Marks Around Nicknames? (Examples)
Do You Use Quotation Marks for Thoughts? (Helpful Examples)