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Quote Sandwich

Effectively Integrating Quotes as Evidence

What’s a sandwich without the bread? A mess. A salad, maybe. The point is that it’s not a sandwich. Similarly, a quote without an effective lead-in before and an explanation after, like the bread supporting the filling of a sandwich, is not adequate to support your thesis and ideas. What you need is a quote sandwich: support the quote with an introduction before and some elaboration after.

picture of a sandwich made with one piece of bread on the bottom, meat in the middle, and bread on top.Top Bread:

  • Provide context* for the quote so the reader who is unfamiliar with the source can understand it.
  • Use a signal phrase** or a sentence to lead in to the quote, using a comma or colon before the quote begins.


  • Provide the quotation in quotation marks, or follow the guidelines for long quotes by formatting it into a block quote.
  • Provide an in-text citation of the source of the quote in MLA, APA, or another required style. Keep in mind that using a signal phrase in the top bread to introduce the quote can sometimes fulfill all or part of this in-text citation.

Bottom Bread:

  • Explain the significance of the quote, interpreting it and telling the reader how this idea supports and connects to your thesis.

Definition of terms:

*Context: background information necessary to fully understand an idea or event.

**Signal phrase: a phrase that mentions the author and/or title of a source to introduce a quote or paraphrase from that source.

Sample Quote Sandwich #1

Top Bread:

  • The work of cleaning the home should be divided fairly between the men and women living there, instead of perpetuating sexist roles by placing the burden on women. Solving the inequality is best done on an individual level by negotiating which spouse handles each task. Jessica Grose advises that if


  • “a woman is twice as good as her husband at doing the laundry, but only 20 percent better than her husband at doing the dishes... the husband should always do the dishes” ([if this source had a page number, it would go here]).

Bottom Bread:

  • By creating such a plan, the housework is divided fairly and equally between genders based on ability and workload.

Sample Quote Sandwich #2

Top Bread:

  • Jessica Grose argues that cleaning the home still falls unfairly on women’s shoulders in her article, "Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier." Grose notes,


  • "At its most basic, a reason why a lot of men don’t want to clean is obvious: it’s not fun. The rewards of the other two traditionally female household tasks— childcare and cooking—are palpable. Your kid’s smile, a delicious meal. But not so with cleaning" ([if this source had a page number, it would go here]).

Bottom Bread:

  • Here, Grose connects the task with its level of reward, which is much lower than the other types of housework. This reason may be true: cleaning is not as fun or as rewarding, but it is not substantial enough to excuse men from doing their fair share of the housework.

Works Cited [MLA]

Grose, Jessica. “Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier.” New Republic, 18 Mar. 2013, https://newrepublic.com/article/112693/112693. Accessed 28 Mar. 2014.


Learn more about "Using Quotes Effectively."

Learn more about "Introducing Sources."

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