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Using a direct quote in your essay is a great way to support your ideas with concrete evidence, which you need to support your thesis.To select a good quote, look for a passage that supports your argument and is open to analysis.
If it is particular words or phrases that “prove” your point, you do not need to quote the full sentences they appear in; rather, incorporate the words and phrases into your own sentences that focus on your own ideas.
It is permissible to quote an entire sentence (between two sentences of your own), but in general you should avoid this method of bringing textual material into your discussion.
Similarly, after you have decided that you want to quote material, .
Think of the text in terms of units—words, phrases, sentences, and groups of sentences (paragraphs, stanzas)—and use only the units you need.
Instead, use one of the following patterns: An introducing phrase or orienter plus the quotation: Introduce a quotation either by indicating what it is intended to show, by naming its source, or by doing both.
For non-narrative poetry, it’s customary to attribute quotations to “the speaker”; for a story with a narrator, to “the narrator.” For plays, novels, and other works with characters, identify characters as you quote them.For further information, check out our Quoting and Paraphrasing resource, or you may wish to see when the Writing Center is offering its next introductory workshop about the genre of literary analysis.Additionally, our Short Guide to Close Reading for Literary Analysis offers wonderful insight into how you can read a piece of literature in order to analyze it.Within a literary analysis, your purpose is to develop an argument about what the author of the text is doing—how the text “works.” You use quotations to support this argument. Ramsey’s attitude is not used by Woolf to show that Mrs. Notice that this paragraph includes three basic kinds of materials: (a) statements expressing the student’s own ideas about the relationship Woolf is creating; (b) data or evidence from the text in summarized, paraphrased, and quoted form; and (c) discussion of how the data support the writer’s interpretation.This involves selecting, presenting, and discussing material from the text in order to “prove” your point—to make your case—in much the same way a lawyer brings evidence before a jury. Ramsey is fickle or confused; rather it is used to show her capacity for understanding both the frailty and complexity of human beings. All the quotations are used in accordance with the writer’s purpose, i.e., to show how the development of Mrs.Reproduce the spelling, capitalization, and internal punctuation of the original exactly. When quoting lines of poetry up to three lines long (which are not indented), separate one line of poetry from another with a slash mark with a space on either side (see examples from Blake’s “The Tyger” and Shakespeare’s above).Prose or verse quotations less than four lines long are not indented.Ramsey’s personality by observing her feelings about other characters. In other cases, you will want to paraphrase, i.e., “translate” the original into your own words, again instead of quoting.Summarize or paraphrase when it is not so much the language of the text that justifies your position, but the substance or content.This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, Ph D.Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas.