Good Use of Quote

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

There is a difference between the proper use of something and the improper use, or abuse, of something. For example, mothers love to put their children to good use, which always means that the children must set aside the video game to do housework such as taking out the trash and washing the dishes.

These are all good character-building activities children need to help them grow emotionally and psychologically. Parents demonstrate the concept of “responsibility” and the value of “hard work.” However, using children to do heavy, labor-intensive tasks is illegal, because children are not slaves.

Here’s another example. A tool that sits in the toolbox is just an instrument to use, but it is not useful until someone comes by, picks up the tool, and begins to use it for its intended purpose. A person who works for a company is an instrument, but when an employer puts the person to work, then the person becomes an employee; the person becomes useful.

However, using an employee beyond the scope of company policy and laws that govern employee rights is illegal also, because employees are not slaves.

A quote that lies on a page within a book is just a sentence (s) without quotation marks. Its only use is to fill the page with words that are representative of ideas, perspectives, and ideology. When you incorporate the quote into your paper, by placing quotation marks around its beginning and ending, then the quote becomes useful.

However, as much as the quote is important and may have some significance to your paper, it is important not to abuse the quote. The way you abuse a quote is by 1) leaving off the quotation marks, 2) changing its elements to the point that the process disturbs the original meaning of the author, and by 3) forgetting to cite verifiable referencing information.

When you receive the comment “Good Use of Quote,” your professor is saying one of many, or all, the following things to you:

1) You have properly used the quote.

2) You have observed the rules of citation.

3) The quote is suitable within a certain paragraph and it fits the overall scheme of your discussion.

4) The quote is effective (effectively persuasive) within a certain paragraph.

5) The professor likes the quote.  In other words, it stimulates the senses and interest.

6) The quote is connected to the subject matter.

Always remember that the best way to consider using a quote is to see if it’s a match to what you are discussing within your paper. If it is not, consider either rebuilding on previous ideas within your “analysis,” or using a more appropriate quote. Using the wrong quote within your papers is similar to using the wrong tool from a toolbox.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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