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Use direct quotations only when the information is so well presented (or in the interest of clarity, emphasis, or accuracy), that you think the exact language of the source should be used.
And remember, too, that just like when using a direct quotation, you must cite your source when summarizing or paraphrasing.
Yes, you can leave out words you deem unnecessary in a quotation, but you can't take out words that will change its meaning.
Romantic poetry is characterized by the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" (Wordsworth 263).
Both citations in the examples above, (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tell readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth.
If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page, where, under the name of Wordsworth, they would find the following information: When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name.
Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (e.g.
If your computer or typewriter does not have square bracket keys, then draw the brackets in.
You can NOT substitute parentheses for brackets, since they carry a different meaning.
articles) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g.
plays, books, television shows, entire websites) and provide a page number. In this example, since the reader does not know the author of the article, an abbreviated title of the article appears in the parenthetical citation which corresponds to the full name of the article which appears first at the left-hand margin of its respective entry in the Works Cited.