Posted on 28th October 2012
Quote with Confidence
As it’s the middle of the term and you have probably been set at least an essay or two to do over the break, I thought it might be a good idea to post a little reminder about how to quote in your essays.
Quotations are vital in all kinds of essays and as you advance through secondary school you will find yourself needing to quote all the time.
Quotations will help to back up the argument that you are making and show your teacher/examiner that you have really engaged with the material you are supposed to be discussing.
Here are a few tips on how to quote in your work…
Try and keep your quotations nice and short. This is especially true if you need to remember lots of them for an exam.
Remember that you MUST attribute the quotations to the source and show that they are quotations by using either single or double speech marks. If you fail to do this, especially when using the work of critics or historians, you may be accused of plagiarism. If you are quoting a critic or historian then make sure you footnote appropriately and include their texts in your bibliography.
During your revision or preparation for an essay, if you are writing down quotations as you go along, make sure you write down the page numbers of the book where you find them, so that you know where to look if you need to find them again.
Rather than just plonking your quotations into the middle of your work willy-nilly, it is best to ‘weave’ them in. This is in order to make your writing flow nicely. I dug out some of my old essays to show you some examples of what I mean by ‘weaving in’ your quotations:
-Hopkins then associates royal imagery with the bird, describing a “kingdom of daylight” and calling the windhover a “dauphin”.
-The other rhyme, with “sillion”, “billion” and “vermillion” is undeniably impressive.
-Beatrice declares in the first canto of the Paradiso, “le cose tutte quanto hanno ordine”, and there are many more examples which follow and deal with the same focused attention.
-Natural love tends to “good existing in a thing”, whereas elective love tends to “good which is apprehended”.