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I would like to quote from interview transcripts with multiple speakers. I want these quotes to be displayed in a single-spaced block quote format but I would like both the abbreviations of the speakers (say "A:" or "B:") AND the text after the colon (i.e. what they say) to be horizontally aligned. I am guessing I need two columns within a block quote environment but - as a result of my extremely poor/beginner's skills - I can't seem to work it out at all. The only idea I can come up in an attempt is nesting a tabular environment within a quote environment, say:

\begin{quote}
\begin{tabular}{l l}
 A: & transcription of what the first person says \\
 B: & transcription of what the second person replies\\
\end{tabular}
\end{quote}

but this isn't great since tabular won't do any line breaks and the transcripts I am quoting from contain potentially long speech acts.

Another alternative, I thought, is nesting an itemize environment in a quote environment. But this also does not seem to be an option since itemize will automatically add bullet points once nested (unlike when used without the surrounding quote environment).

\begin{quote}
\begin{itemize}
 \item{A:} Text the first person says \\
 \item{B:} Text the second person says\\
 \end{itemize}
\end{quote}

And generally speaking, both options are neither elegant nor efficient, since they A) do not link the quote to its source (like textquote would do from the csquotes package) B) do not have a typical block quote character (small font, singlespaced throughout the entire quote) - both of which I would find desirable. If it is difficult to realize both aims, B would be more important since all sources are my own and I do not need to revert to a bibliographical entry. Can anyone help me out?

  • Welcome to Tex – Bobyandbob Mar 29 '18 at 16:39
  • Your problem regarding the line breaks in a tabular environment could be solved using \begin{tabularx}{\linewidth}{lX}. This nevertheless causes problems when a quote needs a pagebreak. – leandriis Mar 30 '18 at 15:11
  • For an idea on how you could use the description environment, you might also have a look at this answer: tex.stackexchange.com/a/357587/134144 – leandriis Mar 30 '18 at 15:27
  • Thanks @leandriis One main difference is that I am not PROVIDING a transcript but i am QUOTING from one, well actually, from 30 different transcripts (each with 2-4 different speakers). So while in that example they set the speakers beforehand that doesn't really make sense in my case as the speakers change for each quote! But the description environment may still be adaptable. How can I get it to look like a block quote (indented, singlespaced)? And is there any way of linking it with a reference, as if it were a quote/quotation kind of environment? – Leoni Mar 30 '18 at 16:18
1

As you did not specify the documentclass nor the bibliography management package and citation style you use, the following example does not include a solution on how to implement a citation to the quote and might not totally suit your needs.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{setspace}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\usepackage{enumitem}
\newlist{myquote}{description}{1}
\setlist[myquote]{
  font={\normalfont},
   labelwidth=20pt,
   labelsep=0pt,
  leftmargin=20pt
}

\onehalfspacing
\usepackage{changepage}
\usepackage{etoolbox}
\BeforeBeginEnvironment{myquote}{\par\vspace{\baselineskip}\begin{singlespace*}\begin{adjustwidth}{1cm}{1cm}}
\AfterEndEnvironment{myquote}{\end{adjustwidth}\end{singlespace*}\par\vspace{\baselineskip}}

\begin{document}

\lipsum[1]

\begin{myquote}
\item[A:] \lipsum[2]
\item[B:] \lipsum[3]
\item[C:] \lipsum[4]
\end{myquote}

\lipsum[5]
\end{document}

enter image description here

The following MWE contains an environment with an optional argument that can be filled in with a citation key. The corresponding citation will be printed at the end of the enviromnent.

\documentclass{report}
\usepackage{setspace}
\usepackage{lipsum}

\usepackage{enumitem}
\usepackage[authoryear,round]{natbib}
\bibliographystyle{plainnat}
\usepackage{filecontents}

\begin{filecontents}{\jobname.bib}
@book{key,
  author = {Author, A.},
  year = {2001},
  title = {Title},
  publisher = {Publisher},
}
\end{filecontents}



\onehalfspacing
\usepackage{changepage}
\usepackage{xparse}

\DeclareDocumentEnvironment{myquote}{O {}}{\par\vspace{\baselineskip}\begin{singlespace*}\begin{adjustwidth}{1cm}{1cm}\begin{description}[font={\normalfont},labelwidth=20pt,labelsep=0pt,leftmargin=20pt]}{\end{description}\noindent \cite{#1}\end{adjustwidth}\end{singlespace*}\par\vspace{\baselineskip}}


\begin{document}

\lipsum[5]

\begin{myquote}[key]
\item[A:] \lipsum[2]
\item[B:] \lipsum[2]
\end{myquote}

\lipsum[5]

\bibliography{\jobname}
\end{document}

enter image description here

  • Thanks, this is helpful! I use the report class and natbib, I am not decided on the citation style yet but I just thought if I am quoting from this transcript it should correctly be via a corresponding command like blockquote from csquotes. I could alternatively just do it like this and add the source manually . – Leoni Mar 31 '18 at 6:13
  • @Leoni: I have edited my answer to include a variant that allows for citation using an optional argument of the myquote environment. – leandriis Mar 31 '18 at 9:42

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