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Using Direct Quotation
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  1. Using Direct Quotation Tips, Tricks, Techniques

  2. “True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance.” ~Alexander Pope~

  3. Why Quote? • Quoting someone else’s words can: • Lend credibility to your argument. • Help ensure that your argument is fair and accurate. • Provide you with a major source of evidence to support your claims.

  4. Common Mistakes • Quoting too little. • Quoting too much. • Assuming that quotations speak for themselves.

  5. Quote Relevant Passages • Before you can select appropriate quotations, you need to have a sense of what you want to do with them. • Ask yourself: • “How might quotations from the reading help me to build my ideas?”

  6. Quote For A Reason • Do not put quotations into your essay simply to demonstrate that you’ve read the author’s work. • Ask yourself: • “How are my quotations developing my argument? What are my quotes doing?”

  7. New Quotes? • As your argument evolves, your use of quotes may change. • When you are engaged in the writing process, there is often a great deal of back-and-forth between your arguments and any quotations you select.

  8. Activity: Selecting Quotes • Review your reading and highlight 4-5 passages that you might quote directly in your essay. • Copy these passages word for word onto a separate sheet of paper and write about each: • What is the author saying in the passage? (Put their ideas into your own words) • What is most significant, or strange, or revealing about the passage, and why? • How might I use this passage in my paper?

  9. Framing Your Quotes • Quotations do not speak for themselves. • You need to build a frame around them in which you do that speaking for them.

  10. Dangling Quotations • Quotations inserted into a text without a frame are sometimes called dangling for the way they are left dangling without any explanation. • They make your reader think, “Huh?”

  11. Example of A Dangling Quote Susan Bordo writes about women and dieting. “Fiji is just one example. Until television was introduced in 1995, the islands had no reported cases of eating disorders. In 1998, three years after programs from the United States and Britain began broadcasting there, 62 percent of the girls surveyed reported dieting.” I think Bordo is right. Another point Bordo makes is that…

  12. Note that the writer does not: • Introduce the quote adequately. • Who is Susan Bordo? Are these even her words? • Explain why she finds the passage worth quoting. • How do Bordo’s words connect to the writer’s ideas? Susan Bordo writes about women and dieting. “Fiji is just one example. Until television was introduced in 1995, the islands had no reported cases of eating disorders. In 1998, three years after programs from the United States and Britain began broadcasting there, 62 percent of the girls surveyed reported dieting.” I think Bordo is right. Another point Bordo makes is that…

  13. Quotation Sandwich • To adequately frame a quotation, you need to insert it into a “quotation sandwich.” • The statement of introduction serves as the “top slice” of the bread. • The explanationthat follows the quote serves as the “bottom slice.”

  14. Quotation Sandwich, Cont. • The statement of introduction should explain whois speaking and set up what the quotation says. • The explanation should state why you consider the quotation to be important and what you take it to say.

  15. Moves for Introducing Quotations • X asserts, “______________.” • As the prominent Philosopher X puts it, “____________.” • According to X, “_____________.” • X himself contends, “____________.” • In her book ____________, X maintains that “______________.” • Writing in Time Magazine, X complains that “___________.”

  16. Employ Active Verbs • When adding such introductory phrases, be sure to use language that accurately reflects the spirit of the quoted passage. • Generally not says or writes(dull) • Rather, argues, asserts, believes, claims, emphasizes, agrees, endorses, praises, supports, complains, contends, denies, refutes, calls for, pleads, urges (vivid!)

  17. Moves for Explaining Quotations • Basically, X is affirming _____________. • In other words, X believes _________. • In making this comment, X argues that ________. • X is insisting that __________. • X’s point is that ___________. • The essence of X’s argument is that __________.

  18. Revised Example The feminist philosopher Susan Bordo deplores the hold that the Western obsession with dieting has on women. Her basic argument is that increasing numbers of women across the globe are being led to see themselves as fat and in need of a diet. Citing the island of Fiji as a case in point, Bordo notes that “until television was introduced in 1995, the islands had no reported cases of eating disorders. In 1998, three years after programs from the United States and Britain begun broadcasting there, 62 percent of the girls surveyed reported dieting” (149-50). Bordo’s point is that the West’s obsession with dieting is spreading even to remote places across the globe. Ultimately, Bordo complains, the culture of dieting will find you, regardless of where you live. Bordo’s observations ring true to me because…

  19. The feminist philosopher Susan Bordo deplores the hold that the Western obsession with dieting has on women. Her basic argument is that increasing numbers of women across the globe are being led to see themselves as fat and in need of a diet. Citing the island of Fiji as a case in point, Bordo notes that “until television was introduced in 1995, the islands had no reported cases of eating disorders. In 1998, three years after programs from the United States and Britain begun broadcasting there, 62 percent of the girls surveyed reported dieting” (149-50). Bordo’s point is that the West’s obsession with dieting is spreading even to remote places across the globe. Ultimately, Bordo complains, the culture of dieting will find you, regardless of where you live. Bordo’s observations ring true to me because… Red: Introduction White: Quote Blue : Explanation Black: Interpretation

  20. Remember… • Select quotes that are relevant to your argument. • Be flexible—your selection of quotes may change as you write. • Don’t assume that quotes speak for themselves. • Make “Quotation Sandwiches”—that is, frame quotes with introductory phrases and explanations

  21. What Questions Do You Have?

  22. Activity: Framing Quotes • Scan your essay and mark each direct quotation. • Go back and review each quote carefully. Is each one • Introduced properly? • Cited accurately? • Followed by an explanation? • Revise each quote for clarity.

  23. Practice Moves Introductions (before quotes) • X argues, “______________.” • As the prominent Philosopher X puts it, “____________.” • According to X, “_____________.” • X himself asserts,“___________.” • In her book ____________, X maintains that”______________.” • Writing in Time Magazine, X complains that “___________.” Explanations (after quotes) • Basically, X is contending _____________. • In other words, X believes_________. • In making this comment, X argues that ________. • X is insisting that __________. • X’s point is that ___________. • The essence of X’s argument is that __________.

  24. End • Portions of this presentation are excerpted from They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, 1st ed., pp. 39-47, by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein.