Archive for category Quotes

Quote Analysis

This can be a separate paragraph or part of one body paragraph. Provide the quote. Analyze the quote. What type of quote is it? Where is this quote located within the author’s narration or argument? How does the quote affect the chronology of the narration or argument?

Does the quote have parts? How many parts? In other words, how many ideas or things or characters is the author discussing in this one quote? Does the quote represent a description, or a definition, or an example, or a process, or a comparison or contrast, or an evaluation?

Does the quote support another quote? Does the author use this quote to support any other statement, idea, character, thing, or another quote? Who is the author of the quote? Is the author a character? Or is the author the author?

Follow up with an explanation of how your quote analysis fits within the scheme of what you are discussing. Follow up with an evaluation of the usefulness of this supporting evidence, whether good or bad. Develop a transition statement.

This analysis method serves as a guideline for how to develop the body paragraphs of your paper.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Single-Space Long Quote

According to the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style manual, it is standard to double-space a long quote set off (indented) from a paragraph in the same way that it is standard to double-space each element of the entire paper, including your name, course title, professor’s name, and date in the far left top corner of the first page.

However, there will be times, not many, where a professor will tell you to single-space the indented quote. These are quotes that exceed the standard four lines. The professor doesn’t disagree with the citation style of MLA. For her class, she just prefers not to read a lengthy quote that starts on one page and ends up on another.

Don’t worry about the standard in this case, because these are the professor’s “instructions” and he or she sets the tone and the requirements for the class. Don’t assume that just because this one professor puts a different spin on standard requirements that every professor you take after him or her will like this.

Unless your professor says otherwise, i.e. within the essay prompt or during a verbal discussion of an upcoming test, always adhere to MLA standards, or those that apply to your particular discipline (i.e., APA, Chicago Style, or Harvard Referencing Style).

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

You Misquote the Evidence

See the comments “Misquoting the Evidence” and “This Quote is out of Context.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Plagiarism

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

For an explanation, see the comments “Too Close to the Original” and “Introduce the Quote.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Too Close to the Original

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

The comment “Too Close to the Original” refers to your paraphrase as border-line plagiarism.  Below is an example of a quote. The example paraphrase that follows represents border-line plagiarism. See the comment “Introduce the Quote” for an extended explanation of how to incorporate a quote.

Original Quote

The following represents a blockquote according to MLA standards.

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)

Paraphrase

In “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois states that the nineteenth-century Negro always looks at himself through the eyes of others (). Although the paraphrase merely incorporates just one line from Du Bois’s quote, changes “one’s self” to “himself,” and adds the citation information at the end, the paraphrase is still too close to the original. Let’s examine a possible revision.

Revision

In “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois states that the nineteenth-century Negro people don’t define themselves according to their own dictates, according to their own personal views about themselves in relation to society. Instead, they measure themselves according to what others say about them, “by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” ().

The revision is much different from the first paraphrase. The writer is forced to read between the lines, to examine beyond the surface and look beneath the meanings of the words on the page. In adopting such a method, the writer determines what is most important for the reader to know and then puts this vital information into his or her own words. During the process, the writer adds another line to reiterate his or her point and incorporates a quote directly from Du Bois’s words, with a citation.

Revision Consideration

The best solution to revising a paraphrase is to bring in the actual quote, which is the simplest way of directly fixing the problem. Another solution is to think about what the author wants you to take from reading the work, construct what you think he or she is attempting to convey, and use your construction as a paraphrase. If you adopt the second option, check your paraphrase against the original to determine if there is a match in meaning, but not word-for-word. Add the citation reference information at the end.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

Not a Theme In

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

Within the English canon, professors and scholars have established what constitutes as a prominent theme (or themes) within a work. Themes such as jealousy and envy are typically prevalent in Shakespearean plays. Themes such as honor and loyalty are prevalent in medieval works that include the character King Arthur.

Themes that point to issues with social marginality, racial divide, separation, and alienation are ones that are appropriate for African American literature and other culture texts. This is the canon. The canon not only includes a list of authoritative works but also the themes embedded within these works.

Every student wants to be original and incorporate a different and contemporary theme into a paper. Students project on the immediate text ideas and themes that are nowhere present within the actual work. When your professor says this (your theme) is not a theme in this (canonical text), he or she is saying to you that you have misread the text. You are not looking at the immediate text as it is presented to you, which represents all its ideas and notions illustrated by the author. You have included a theme that is not a part of the original canon.

Think about the seller of a car. Typically, the car dealership or the owner will write “As is” on a car, which tells you that you are getting the car as it is presented to you with all of its errors and potential mishaps. You can’t say to the car owner paint the car red and then I will buy it. You have to take the car as you see it presently.

The same line of thought applies to developing analysis from the immediate text. Within the body of your paper, you can’t project a theme on a text that is not already part of the canon. However, you can in the extended discussion/conclusion of your paper examine the underlying ideas and potential assumptions of a theme. In this section of your paper, you may wish to examine the ideas you have expressed by applying a theme that is not in the canon.

Only in the conclusion section can you carry out this task. Just remember you can’t apply the theme from an African-American text to a medieval text because “culture” (and “cultural”) is primarily a twentieth century term. Good food for thought.

For an extended explanation, see also the comments “An interesting idea, but it doesn’t work in every example.” and “Examine Evidence from the Text.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

Misquoting the Evidence

Essay Section: Supporting Evidence (Quotes)

The authors’ quotes offer much about their thoughts, words, motivations, and influences. When writers sit down to write, they write with history and the present on their shoulders. In other words, writers represent a walking history walking in the present. They embody the past, which includes past feelings, mistakes, choices, and good times. As long as they are still alive they will always be in the present.

In addition, a writer also has the burden of writing for the future. What he or she says today will have an impact on someone’s tomorrow. The tasks of writers are many. When you misquote the evidence, you misquote the author’s beliefs, his or her opinions. You misquote what represents the “past.” For the author, you make him or her incredible in the present and you undoubtedly affect someone’s understanding tomorrow.

Therefore, always break down and analyze the words of a quote. If a quote has the coordinating conjunction “and” between two elements of a sentence, don’t use “or” within your analysis. Although these two words are within the same family of conjunctions, they are different in meanings. Don’t confuse the two in your analysis.

In addition, if the author doesn’t say the thing you are trying to project onto him, then you have misquoted his viewpoint. Think about your friend and how she might feel if you misquote her. The first thing your friend will say is “I didn’t say that!” Your author is no different. You must be accurate. Outline your author’s ideas in the same way that the author has within the literary work.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

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.”

Click here to return to “This is my first time.”

Click here to return to “What’s the Change?”

Click here to return to “What’s Your Name?”

Click here to return to “Introduce the Quote.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment

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.

Click here for “What’s Next?”

Click here to return to “What’s Your Name?”

Click here to return to “What’s the Change?”

Click here to return to “Introduce the Quote.”

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

Leave a comment