Figure 79: Abbreviating Quotes Exercise (Sample Student Passage)

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Analysis.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Analysis (Glossary Comment)” and “Case Studies” categories or by typing “Second Part: Abbreviating Quotes (Task#3: Abbreviate)” into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Figure 79: Abbreviating Quotes Exercise (Sample Student Passage)

Elisa continues to glance down at the tractor shed where the men where. There is an anxiousness in Elisa. Her “face was eager . . . mature . . . handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful.  The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy” (Steinbeck 221). Steinbeck paints a clear picture as to how religiously Elisa tends her garden. She takes off her glove and places her hands down into the soil.  She recognizes that her flowers hadn’t completely bloomed. She starts tending her garden at the sound of her husband’s voice. “He had come near quietly, and he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs, and chickens” (Steinbeck 221). It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa. It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders. Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers. No one could get close or converse with Elisa. At the sound of his voice is when she can start. Everything had become so traditional that she had become accustomed to waiting until he finished his business to start her daily activity. Henry never included her in any of his business. She was best seen and not heard.

Group Activity

Step #1: Highlight the quotes by adding shading. Use a highlighter.

Step #2: Determine which of the sentences represents the topic sentence.

Step #3: Determine if the quote supports the topic sentence of the paragraph.

Step #4: Analyze the sentences that follow after the quote.

Step #5: Choose one option.

  • Option #1: Choose to keep the topic sentence and remove the quote and the follow-up explanations.
  • Option #2: Develop a different topic sentence for the quote and the follow-up explanations.
  • Option #3: Sort the sentences that appear to express the same ideas into sections. Think about the main idea of each sentence. What is the subject of the sentence doing? What is the subject of the sentence. Ask these questions during the process and provide an explanation for each section that details the main idea of each section.

Use this in-class activity as a guide for revising your own academic essays.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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