Archive for category I

4. What’s Next? (Introduce the Quote)

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

What’s Next?

After you have introduced a quote by incorporating it into your essay’s body paragraph, then follow up with end-of-the-quote information. The citation information at the end of the quoted text is the next thing on a list of to-do’s. It follows immediately after the previous thing you have just done, which is quote from a source.

Visualize yourself in a line of people at the Department of Motor Vehicles. All of you are waiting to register for your driver’s licenses. You are in the middle of the line. There are people in front of you and there are people behind you. To be sure, there is one person particularly in front of you; and there is one person particularly behind you, or at the back of you.

Once the administrative staff member has finished helping the person in front you he or she immediately says, “Next.” Since you are the next person in line you go up to the front desk; but what if the person decides not to say “Next?” What happens to you standing there in the line?

For one, your presence is not acknowledged. Two, you are not permitted to move forward. Three, everything stands still. You don’t move and the people behind you can’t move. Likewise, after you have finished introducing your quote, you must follow up by introducing also two types of information: 1) location-of-source information and 2) location-of-punctuation information. You cannot move forward to other areas within your analysis until you meet the requirements that govern citing a source.

Key #6

There is only one type of location-of-source information: the citation.

Depending upon the style manual you use, the citation information at the end of quoted text is important to the reader who needs to verify the difference between your sentences and those of the quotation.

This information is also vital for professors, because they use the author, title of the work, and page number to rule out plagiarism or, in some cases, prove that you have plagiarized a work within your paper. Therefore, providing the source information is the next to the last thing you must do after the ending quotation marks. The last thing you must do before moving forward in your paper involves assigning the appropriate punctuation mark(s).

Key #7

There are two types of location-of-punctuation information. Both types refer to material quoted in-text. One type of information is in-text quoted material, which is under four lines of quoted text or is exactly four lines. You may quote the material within any body paragraph of your essay.  You must place quotation marks before and after the quoted material.

You may either use your own sentence before the quoted material or depending upon how you have framed the other sentences within any of your body paragraphs, you may only just have to begin with the quoted material, affixing quotation marks at the beginning and end. This type of quoted material conforms to normal grammar standards, meaning that the period, as an ending punctuation mark, is placed after the closing parenthesis, not before it.

Example 4

In “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois states that “it is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” ().

These are the qualities of this quote.

1) The quote is exactly four lines.

2) This is the beginning of a body paragraph within a student’s essay.

3) These four lines of text are enclosed within quotation marks.

4) The quote is preceded by a group of phrases that do not represent a complete sentence. A group of phrases is typically only needed to incorporate a quote. Sometimes you don’t need any phrases, but the sentence, your phrases and the quote itself, must be a grammatical sentence, as a result.

5) The punctuation mark (period) follows after the closing parenthesis.

Exception #1

If the total sentence, the introductory phrases, and the quote enclosed within quotation marks, forms a question, then the question mark is placed inside the quotation marks. The quotation marks are followed by the parentheses and an ending period.

Exception #2

If citation information is not presented in the incorporation of the quote, then the ending punctuation mark (period) is placed before the closing quotation marks.

The second type of in-text quoted material is over four lines of quoted text. The material is a part of a body paragraph, but it is also separated (set off) from the body paragraph of your essay. There are no quotation marks at the beginning or at the end of the quoted material. Before incorporating the quoted material, as set off from the body paragraph, you may either use your own sentence before the quoted material or depending upon how you have framed the other sentences, you may only just have to begin with the quoted material. Just remember this: Be careful not to mix your sentence with the quote itself.

Review your style manual for exceptions concerning punctuation marks (i.e., question mark) that go before or after quotation marks.

Exception #3

Keep in mind one thing: Do not place quotation marks before or after quoted material separated (set off) from a body paragraph. This type of quoted material does not conform to normal grammar standards, meaning that the period, as an ending punctuation mark, is placed before the parentheses that house the citation information (i.e., author and page number). With this in mind, you should never place an ending sentence punctuation mark after the parentheses of set off quoted material.

Example 5

In “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois states about the nineteenth-century Negro,

After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world.  It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.  One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.  ( )

These are the qualities of this quote.

1) The quote is over four lines. The material is a part of the body paragraph but it is also separated from the main body paragraph. This is the beginning of a body paragraph within a student’s essay.

2) These lines of text are not enclosed within quotation marks.

3) The quote is preceded by a group of phrases that do not represent a complete sentence. A group of phrases is typically only needed to incorporate a quote. Sometimes you don’t need any phrases, but the sentence, your phrases and the quote itself, must be a grammatical sentence, as a result.

4) The punctuation mark (period) precedes the information enclosed within the parentheses. The punctuation mark never goes after the parentheses.

For ane extended explanation of this section of “Introduce the Quote,” see also the comment “Inaccurate.”

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Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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3. This is my first time. (Introduce the Quote)

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

This is my first time.

Everyone has had a “first time” for something. The most common first time for each person is learning. Although you may be in a poverty-stricken area of the country, you have had exposure to some form of learning, formally or informally. The learning process might have been limited. For example, you might not have been able to go to school every day; but even in countries that socially restrict women, these women still have had some exposure to learning, even to schooling.

One way in which everyone has had some form of exposure to learning is through their mother. Our mothers teach us first. It doesn’t matter what type of teaching it is. It is still teaching. Therefore, all of us globally have had some exposure to teaching, learning, and schooling, in one way or another. Our “first time” represented something new. Remember we had never seen learning before, in any other form. The teaching was new, the learning was new, and the schooling was new.

Key #4

When you incorporate a quote for the first time, the quote is new to your paper. Your paper has never known of it before. Figuratively, it has no idea how it will fit. The only person who can ever know if the quote fits is the author (writer) of the paper. Therefore, introduce a quote in such a way that the reader is aware that you are bringing in information for the first time. “What’s Your Name?” is different from “This is my first time.” For example, in reference to the former, the reader needs to know if the quote you have incorporated represents an enemy or an ally to your analysis.  However, for the latter, the reader needs to know if the quote you have incorporated is simply just the first time you have incorporated the quote.

Key #5

Refer to the appropriate citation manual for instructions on how to cite the first time you mention an author and his or her work.  There are different styles and rules of applications for each.

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Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Rule for Incorporating a Quote with “That” (Introduce the Quote)

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

Rule for Incorporating a Quote with “That”

When we see “that” before a quote, anything after “that” must not fall under the grammar rule of capitalizing the first letter of the first word of a sentence, even if the group of words and phrases form a complete sentence without “that.” There are exceptions to this rule:

1) The personal pronoun “I” and proper nouns that begin with a capital letter for the first letter of the word such as “United States” or “John F. Kennedy” are capitalized.

2) If you are presenting a sentence as an example enclosed within quotation marks, the first letter of the first word is capitalized. Review the bolded sentence of Example 3 below.

 Example 3

Particularly, Ernest Allen explores the role of the “blackacademic,” who continues the tradition of imposing racial criteria onto Du Bois’s concept. He attempts to divide prevailing thought while simultaneously reexamining Du Bois’s perspective. Allen’s article, “Du Boisian Double Consciousness: The Unsustainable Argument” (2003) explores the general pattern of “blackacademics” and their misreadings of “The Souls of Black Folk,” particularly the famous epigraph, projecting their interpretations of Du Bois’s motivation for shaping the nineteenth-century construct. Allen places before him the famous epigraph to mull over its elements and concludes that “blackacademics” focus primarily on certain words and phrases. Such phrases include the sentence “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” (Du Bois).

The above excerpt a) incorporates a sentence first and b) places quotation marks around the sentence to highlight to the reader that the words belong to someone else, second. The capitalization of “I” in “It” s appropriate.

3) The last quality of this quote is the “I” in “It” is de-capitalized. The “I” in “It” changes to a lowercase letter, simply because of the rule above.  For MLA citation style, whenever changes are made to a quote, grammatically, brackets are applied.

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Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Incorporating the Quote Grammatically (Introduce the Quote)

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

Incorporating the Quote Grammatically

The hardest part is over, but we have not finished the discussion of “Changes to Grammar.” If we place the relative pronoun “that” after such verbs as “discuss” and “state,” then we have extended our task and we become subject to the principles of grammar. In essence, all “grammatical” sentences begin with a capital letter of the first letter of the first word. No standard grammatical sentence begins with a lowercase letter.

However, when you incorporate a quote into the body paragraph of your essay, and you use “that,” then the sentences of the quote are subject to the rules of grammar. Since a word that begins a sentence cannot be capitalized midway in the sentence, when you use “that,” then the first letter of the word that begins the sentence must be de-capitalized. Examine the following excerpt.

Excerpt #3

In “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois states that “[i]t is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” ().

We want to point something out early. We have placed brackets around the first letter of the word “it” because this method conforms to MLA style. The result might be significantly different for APA and Chicago Style. I will not present the different styles here.

Refer to these manuals for extended discussions concerning the application of brackets when incorporating quotes into your papers. However, I will address the qualities of this quote by focusing solely on the presence of “that” and the change to “It.” These are the qualities of this quote.

1) In most cases, the relative pronoun “that” refers to an element that precedes it and to many elements that follow it. Observe the following sentence.

We need a car that will hold five people.  “That” refers to the antecedent “car.”

With this example in mind, “that” has the following qualities:

a) “That” is typically used in an adjective essential clause and a restrictive clause, which means the information used with “that” in a sentence is necessary information. In accordance with standard rule, the adjective essential clause of the example is “that will hold five people.” The clause collectively functions as an adjective, describing “car.” In this context, don’t apply commas before or after “that.”

In addition, the sentence We need a car that will hold five people. is an example of a sentence using “that” grammatically and accurately. All of the information in the sentence is necessary information.

b) “That” refers to an inanimate object, to animals and things. We will add ideas and concepts to this list also. This is not the standard.

c) “That” refers to something at a distance from you.

In rare cases, “that” may refer only to elements that follow it. In Excerpt #3, does “that” refer to any element before it such as “The Souls of Black Folk” or “Du Bois”? “That” can’t refer to “Du Bois” because Du Bois is a person. “That” can’t refer to “The Souls of Black Folk” because although the title of the book is inanimate, the use of the preposition “in” tells us where we can find the quote.

Therefore, in this example, “that” can’t refer to either of the previous elements that precede it.  If “that” doesn’t apply to these elements, then it must apply to the elements that follow it. That  = “[i]t is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” (Du Bois).

2) Once “that” is used in the sentence with verbs such as “discuss” and “state,” construction of the rest of the sentence elements must conform to grammar. Examine the sentence without the change to “It.”

In “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois states that “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” ().

Now examine the sentence without the quotation marks.

In “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois states that It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity ().

Typically, the first letter of a word that begins a grammatical sentence is capitalized. The preposition “in” is the first word of this grammatical sentence. The “I” in this word must be capitalized.

However, the “I” in “It must not be capitalized, because this word does not begin this grammatical sentence. In essence, the application of “that” before the quote determines how the quote should be incorporated.

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Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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Quote without an Introductory Phrase (Introduce the Quote)

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

Quote without an Introductory Phrase

Excerpt #2

“One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder” ().

These are the qualities of the above excerpt.

1) Just by examining the quote and nothing else, we do not know from where (what source) the student has taken the quote. We do not have some reference to location. If we pretend for the moment that we do not know from where these words have traveled, we must conclude that our task is far from complete.

2) We do not know the speaker of the words within the quotation marks. There is no indication of a speaker. These are just words within quotation marks. In addition, we don’t see the presence of the verbs “discuss” and “state.”

3) The student has not changed the words within the quotation marks. We know this because there isn’t present the application of an ellipsis. These words represent an exact replica of the words within the reference source, Du Bois’s book.

4) The incorporation of the quote conforms to normal grammar standards for presenting reported speech.

5) The quote is in the present tense.

What happens if we are provided with an introductory phrase?

Du Bois states, “One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder” ().

We now know who the speaker is and we know that the collection of words within quotation marks has a speaker. Through research, we can track the speaker and possibly find the location of the words. However, without a title of the book, it makes the job more difficult. What happens if we are provided with an introductory phrase that has a reference?

Du Bois states in The Souls of Black Folk, “One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder” ().

Now we have all of the location information we need. However, what does this exercise have to do with Changes to Grammar? Applying such verbs as “discuss” and “state” are typically easier to do than changing elements of the quote to conform to other principles of grammar. The purpose of the above is just to help you understand what you are doing each time you incorporate a quote. I want you to start understanding the importance of how valuable “necessary information” is within your sentences so that when your reader needs to research the information you have provided, he or she can perform the research efficiently.

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Quote with Introductory Phrases (Introduce the Quote)

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

Quote with Introductory Phrases

Excerpt #1

 In The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois states, “One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder” ().

These are the qualities of the above excerpt.

1) The introductory phrases provide a location from which the student retrieves the quote: a book titled The Souls of Black Folk.

2) We know the speaker of the words within the quotation marks: Du Bois. He is the only speaker. There is no other indication of another speaker.

3) The student has not changed the words within the quotation marks. We know this because there isn’t present the application of an ellipsis. These words represent an exact replica of the words in the actual reference source, Du Bois’s book.

4) The incorporation of the quote conforms to normal grammar standards for presenting reported speech.

5) The introductory group phrases and the quote itself are both in the present tense.

What happens if we change the verbs to past tense verbs?

In “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois stated, “One ever felt his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone kept it from being torn asunder” ().

You can see how much of a difference a few changes can make to a quote. The simple past tense is a verb tense that defines the state of something as completely finished. A simple past tense verb stops at a specific time in the past and it is not ongoing; the verb does not travel into the present. Only the past knows of the verb and the verb stays there, in the past. If someone wants to use the verb in the present, he or she would have to create a new meaning for the verb, with a new sentence.

Of course, we can’t take something considered complete and finished and change its status simultaneously or consecutively. In other words, if you are the last person at the end of the line, unless someone opens the line up again, no one can physically come behind you. Once an authority figure decides not to take any more people and closes the line, the line doesn’t continue on past the decision. Therefore, as you incorporate quotes into your analysis, make a decision. Do you want the verb to be complete in and of itself, or do you want the verb to leave the past and go into the present (i.e. present perfect and present perfect progressive)?

In the previous quote, the changing of the verbs to past tense has changed the quote’s meaning drastically. However, the new quote, as positioned in the past, isn’t entirely inaccurate.  Du Bois states these words in 1903, at the turn of the twentieth century. He doesn’t state these words today. However, for literary works, the general consensus among citation manuals, particularly MLA, arts and letters majors, and university departments, is we can apply the concept of “literary present.”

What this means is it doesn’t matter if the author of a literary work is dead or alive, or when the author first wrote the work, when referring to the author and his or her work we always apply the “literary present” to the quote and to our incorporation. Therefore, our introductory phrases must also begin in “literary present.”

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Changes to Grammar (Introduce the Quote)

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

Changes to Grammar

Although it is advisable not to change some elements within a quote, such as verb tense, you will have many opportunities to reconfigure a quote. Sometimes these opportunities will be good; and sometimes they will be bad. Sometimes a change to verb tense is simply just unavoidable. If you have to shift tenses, for example, by starting your sentence in present tense and changing the verb tenses of the quote to present tense, your incorporation of the quote will change the meaning of the author’s original intention. For example, if a quote is set in the past, but when you incorporate the quote into the body paragraph of your essay you change the verbs to present tense, you will not be painting an accurate picture of the author’s work.

As one solution to this issue, it might be easier to apply time markers such as “historically” and “today.” In other words, if your paragraph starts out in the present tense, but you want to highlight some important issue of the past, then start your sentence that has the past tense verbs with “historically.” Continue adding quotes and your other sentences with past tense verbs. Once you have finished outlining all of the sentences and the quotes, with past tense verbs, then revert to the present tense by starting a sentence that has the present tense with “today.”  Adopting this method will help you to do two things:

  • To preserve a quote that has verbs in the past tense
  • To preserve the author’s original intention

Addressing verb tenses within your analysis is the most difficult task you will encounter within the analysis of your paper. The next issue is far less tedious. If you just understand this one basic rule, you will be able to incorporate a quote with no problems. There are two ways to incorporate a quote when using such verbs as “discuss” and “state.”

Develop introductory phrases (or sentence). Use the verbs “discuss” and “state” directly before incorporating the quote.

Leave off the introductory phrases (or sentence). Don’t use the verbs “discuss” and “state” directly in the incorporation of the quote, because it is understood.

You incorporate most quotes by developing language at the beginning of the quote such as “She states” and adding a comma after “states.” You follow the comma with another type of punctuation mark: the open quotation mark. After this, you follow this mark by capitalizing the first letter of the first word in the quote. Let’s examine the following excerpt.

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Changes to Meaning (Introduce the Quote)

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

Changes to Meaning

It is important to give attention to the quote you want to use in your paper. Examine it. Analyze it. Pay attention to time markers such as “before,” “after,” and “since.” Time markers are not the only words that can change the meaning of a quote. Using ellipses for the purpose of omitting material from an original quote could also change the meaning of the author’s original intention or change how the reader perceives the information.

In other words, the potential for error is always present. When you leave out certain material, you place a gap in the reader’s comprehension of the material you have presented. In Example 1, the writer (student) applies an ellipsis to omit elements that are parts of an original quote.  In Example 2, we see how much of a difference it makes when the student omits important material from a quote.

 Example 1

In “The Souls of Black Folk,” the nineteenth-century Negro “. . . is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world” (Du Bois  ).

The writer has placed an ellipsis within the sentence. Whenever you see an ellipsis or ellipses within a sentence, it is obvious that something is missing; so in the above excerpt, what is missing? Why is it missing? Was the original part of this excerpt necessary to keep? Can we bring it back and use it for any purpose? In order to answer this question, we have to explore Example 2 first. Let’s examine the original quote, without an ellipsis.

Example 2

After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world.  It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.  On ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. (Du Bois)

The phrases before “the Negro is a sort of seventh son . . .” are missing from the excerpt of Example 1. Before we can begin to address this fact, we still have to ask one more question: Are these group of phrases necessary for the reader to understand the material as a whole? To a great extent, yes, the phrases are necessary because the quoted material clearly claims that the “Negro” is a sort of seventh son. . . .” If the “Negro” is number seven in line, then who are the other six?

In addition, who are the “previous six”? In other words, you may ask the question by just asking who the other six are; however, you must also make a clear distinction when asking your question and highlight the fact that the other six are really the previous six. Don’t forget what the quote suggests. The “Negro” is seventh in line. Du Bois positions the “Negro” in his discussion within certain classes of peoples, genealogically and socially.

Therefore, the application of the ellipsis in Example 1 is misleading because it disturbs the meaning as a whole. We need the phrases at the beginning of the excerpt in Example 2 in Example 1. In Example 1, the writer starts off with a few phrases before adding the quote. As presented to the reader, the information appears to conform to normal MLA standards; and it, in fact, does.

However, you must not merely just conform in terms of meeting your professor’s requirements or to the requirements of MLA just for the sake of meeting the requirement. You must also examine the information you want to add to your analysis to see if what you want to add (one sock) matches to something within your analysis you have already added (another sock).

In other words, you match meanings, viewpoints, perspectives, ideas, and writers and authors who think alike. Wherever your viewpoint also agrees with other meanings, viewpoints, perspectives, ideas, and writers and authors, you match your sock to their sock(s).

Always make sure that the change you make to a quote doesn’t completely change the nature of your analysis. In addition, make sure that the change doesn’t completely change the meaning of the material from which you are quoting. Your presentation should stay close and/or represent fully the author’s original intention.

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2. What’s the Change? (Introduce the Quote)

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

What’s the Change?

Introduce a quote in the same way you would introduce to someone something you are planning to do. A plan represents something new. A plan is not the same thing as something already done or in place. In other words, when you plan, you plan to do something that isn’t presently done, something that isn’t in a “finished” state. In addition, when you plan, your plan could either change something that is already in place or usher in something completely different and new.

Consider this scenario: Envision a woman who presently is a member of a lower social class. This woman wants so much to be a part of another class, a higher class such as the elite. She positions herself closely to one member of this type of society in hopes of him noticing her. When he doesn’t notice her, she develops another way to get the attention of this member of society. She goes where he goes. She tries to run into him so he can see her.

When all of these things fail, she uses her brother, for example, as an excuse to see the man she is interested in; both her brother and the man work for the same company. She takes lunch to her brother with the purpose in mind of seeing the man. Her hope, subconsciously, is to marry the man and marry into the elite class. She wants to change her present condition completely and move into another condition.

She is successful. All of her attempts to get the eye of the man she is interested in pay off.  She gets him. She marries him. In the beginning, she wants him to teach her how to talk like the elite, how to act, how to understand the traditions of the elite, what to do when someone says something to her, how to let the maid answer the phone, and how to have tea with the other elite women.

She wants to change to become a representation of the elite class. What she doesn’t figure out until the end of her life is that she can wear the clothes on the outside, learn the speech patterns of the elite, and try to walk as the elite do, but what’s inside always has a way of coming out publicly.

For example, the woman’s past lower class speech has a way of coming out in arguments with her husband or through frustration when the elite ladies still don’t completely accept her. In addition, although she wanted her husband in the beginning to teach her the elite ways, each time he tried, she became offended at his way of explaining to her what she should and should not do. Although she felt as if he didn’t truly accept her, it was she who wanted him to change her!

The irony here is that even though this type of woman wanted to change, she wouldn’t allow herself to change completely because she didn’t let her mind change from her past condition to her present condition. She couldn’t fully accept the new, because she wanted to live in the old, even though she wanted to be new.

Key #2

The most important thing to do when you incorporate a quote is to repeat exactly what the author has written. No one appreciates being misquoted. You should never make changes in meaning to a quote. Your changes, for example, in verb tense, can change the meaning of a quote drastically.

Using a present tense verb in your incorporation when the quote clearly uses a past tense verb can change the meaning of a sentence. In other words, your sentence should not begin in present tense if the quote is in the past tense (the woman in the present who can’t fully accept the present because she wants to live in the past).

Key #3

When you introduce a quote that will require a change within the quote, make sure that both your sentence and the elements of the quote fit. Your sentence should not start with one idea and the quote represents a completely different idea. You can frame the quote by moving it around within a paragraph all day long, but if the quote just doesn’t fit, you can’t make it fit.

You can’t put on jeans that are three times smaller than your frame. You will choke yourself to death!  Make only what is supposed to fit, fit. There are two types of changes you might have to make when incorporating a quote within your analysis.

Changes to Meaning: You may have to reconfigure your sentence to meet the standards of the quote itself. It is important not to change the meaning of the author’s original intention. Stay within the boundaries of the quote.

Changes to Grammar: You may have to change an element within the quote to meet the standards of grammar, which means you might have to change the tense of a verb.  Changes to grammar may supersede changes to meaning. If such an occasion arises, address this issue within your analysis. Announce to the reader that you are going to change a grammatical term to fit the overall position of your essay.

Click here for “Changes to Meaning.”

Click here for “Changes to Grammar.”

Click here to return to “Introduce the Quote.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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1. What’s Your Name? (Introduce the Quote)

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

What’s Your Name?

Introduce a quote in the same way that you would introduce yourself to another person. The person you are introducing yourself to doesn’t know you and doesn’t know your name or who you are. To the other person you are new. Therefore, make sure to introduce context-specific information.

For example, suppose you enroll in an English evening section. The class allows a 10-minute break, because it is two hours and forty minutes. During these 10 minutes, you decide to step outside and smoke a cigarette. You see another person outside smoking too.  Before you get into a personal conversation about the teacher of your class, make sure that the other person you are talking to is not the teacher’s son! In other words, introduce context-specific information before delving deeper into the subject matter of your paper.

Key #1

If your thesis agrees with a quote that you want to incorporate into your paper, then introduce the quote in such a way that the reader understands the information you are incorporating is new to you as the author of the paper and to the paper itself. You should never summarize or paraphrase information into a sentence you have developed without a clear indication to the reader that certain words or group of phrases belong to another person.

If the information is new to you, then it must be new to the reader also. The reader needs to know the difference between you (your thoughts) and the new information, so present the information in such a way that assures your reader that you are capable of presenting new information accurately. In addition, describe the type of information to the reader. For example, does the quote represent an opposition to your analysis or an opposition to the thesis? Does the quote support your analysis or support your thesis? Examine the following excerpt from the graduate paper previously mentioned.

Sample Excerpt

Particularly, Ernest Allen explores the role of the “blackacademic,” who continues the tradition of imposing racial criteria onto Du Bois’s concept.  He attempts to divide prevailing thought while simultaneously reexamining Du Bois’s perspective.  Allen’s article, “Du Boisian Double Consciousness:  The Unsustainable Argument” (2003) explores the general pattern of “blackacademics” and their misreadings of “The Souls of Black Folk,” particularly the famous epigraph, projecting their interpretations of Du Bois’s motivation for shaping the nineteenth-century construct.  Allen places before him the famous epigraph to mull over its elements and concludes that “blackacademics” focus primarily on certain words and phrases.  Such phrases include the sentence “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” (Du Bois).

First, with this excerpt we have provided you with two significant things.

1) We have introduced to you two types of people: Du Bois and Allen. You know their names. You know who they are. You know their distinctions within the excerpt. You know their works and the differences between each author’s work.

2) We have introduced to you also how the writer (graduate student) “introduces” these two people, as a) supporters of the writer’s thesis and as b) one person (Allen) supporting another (Du Bois).

The writer presents Allen as supporting Du Bois and as opposing anyone (“blackademics”) who tries to redefine Du Bois’s 19th century social perspective. Allen opposes any type of work that fails to mirror Du Bois’s scholarly perspectives, any work in particular that attempts to convey through vain imaginations something intellectually different from Du Bois’s social stance. We know that Allen opposes intellectual work that goes against Du Bois’s perspective, because he calls such acts “misreadings.”

Therefore, your ability to understand the position of the author of a source you are incorporating is crucial to the impact of your essay upon your reader. If you can’t understand who the players are and what they believe, your reader will not be able to understand also.

Click here to return to “Introduce the Quote.”

Click here for “What’s the Change?”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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