|Using Quotations ...|
Do not have a quote stand alone. Rather than have a quote stand alone as its own sentence,
always link/weave quotations into your own sentences. Otherwise, it is difficult for your
reader to understand why you are using the quote and what point--precisely--you are trying
to make. Make sure you offer some explanation (in your own words) about each quote that
you use. Do not assume that your reader understands the quote's point and do not--when
you're not sure about what the quote means yourself--use the quote as a "crutch." If there's
no reason to use the entire quote, don't. Readers often "skip over" quotes--particularly longer
quotations; by paraphrasing and using smaller quotes your writing will be easier to follow.
When you use a quotation, you'll often use a three-part process:
1. State your assertion or general comment.
2. Introduce the quotation you're adding to your text.
3. Provide a summative statement explaining the significance of the
Use correct form. Every time you quote, you need to use quotations marks (and these
should be punctuated correctly) and cite the author and page (unless the identity of the author
is clear). Include a WORKS CITED or References page and make sure you're using correct
MLA or APA form here as well. If you condense a quote make sure to indicate the missing
words by using an ellipsis ( ... ).
Make sure you understand the essays you're explaining. Don't use quotations to as an attempt
to cover up the fact that there's a portion of the text you simply don't understand. If you miss
the main points of an idea or don't catch the author's "tone," your comments regarding the
essay obviously lose value. Quoting two lines from Dickinson's poem will mean nothing if
you cannot explain how the quotation relates to your essay's thesis. Be careful, also, to
understand the "tone" in the work of literature you're analyzing. If you miss Edith Wharton's
irony or Flannery O'Connor's blend of humor, acerbic wit, and religious vision, you miss
quite a bit. Using extensive quotations from these works will not camouflage your confusion.
If you're having problems, talk to me or look up some resources on these authors and their
works (be sure to credit any material that you use). .