A direct quotation is when you quote precisely what someone else said (or wrote). You’ll need quotation marks to show a direct quote.
Jones claims that “the end of the world is not coming soon”.
“I finished my sandwich,” said the small girl to her mother.
If you’re quoting something which has a mistake in it – a spelling, grammar or punctuation error – use [sic] to show that the error is not yours.
“If theirs [sic] not enough food to go around, the government should consider foreign aid,” the man said.
In her journal, the writer said, “I wish my muse had a soothing balm, [sic] for the whip marks she made on my back.”
You can even use it to show that you’re using American English instead of British English (or vice versa).
In the section on capitalization, the author suggested we “look to the Germans for the origins of capitalisation [sic]”.