Overdependence on Quotes

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

Professors never appreciate when students flood their papers with half-page quotes. In addition, professors also don’t appreciate when students have a quote, or more than one quote, on each page of their papers; or when a student uses a quote to make a point instead of starting out a paragraph with his or her own words.

The purpose of analysis is to think critically about the subject before you, not to depend solely on what the author presents to you as the only truth. When you incorporate so many quotes from the author’s work, the reader and your professor cannot and do not hear your voice, what you think concerning the author’s views about dogs and their niceness. Do you have an opinion? What is it? What is your opinion in relation to the authors’?

As a revision objective, always prepare the reader for an incoming quote by incorporating your own words first, your thoughts about the subject. Remember that the quotes you incorporate within the paper only need to function as a complement to what you have discussed already; they need to confirm your own thoughts, not supplant them. This is your paper. You do have a right to an opinion. Make it.

For an extended explanation, see also the comments “Introduce the Quote,” “Explicate the Quote,” and “Analyze This.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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