This handout provides a thorough and clear explanation of how to properly embed quotations within a paper. The handout will introduce students to the three methods they should be using to introduce textual evidence. It offers a lucid account of how to properly punctuate quotations, how to properly alter quotations, and how to properly cite evidence from different literary genres (novel, plays, poems, etc).
Tired of reading papers in which students repeat the exact same phrases to introduce a series of quotations? Tired of reading papers in which students contextualize evidence by writing, On page 34, it says, "blah blah" ?? Look no further! I developed this resource after listening to my talented English colleagues chat about their shared frustrations over how students frame quotations in their papers. If the teachers at your school are facing similar frustrations, then you might find this handout to be helpful.
As it turns out, there are only three strategies that writers employ when embedding quotations in a paper. This handout explains when and how students should use each of the three strategies:
1. Block Quotations: The best technique for framing a quotation is to use a block quotation. The examples in this handout will model not only how to punctuate a block quotation but also how to follow up with analysis by picking out key words from the quotation and unpacking their significance.
2. Clause-and-Colon Method: The best technique for framing a quotation is to introduce the quotation with an independent clause followed by a colon (:). The examples in this handout will model the grammatically correct way to use a colon to set up a quotation.
3. Integration-of-Keywords Method: The best technique for framing quotations is to integrate the quotations into the writer's own sentences. The examples in this handout demonstrate how to integrate quotations seamlessly into the flow of one's sentences.
Here's my suggestion for how to use this handout. What I'd recommend is that you distribute this handout to your students before you distribute your next writing assignment. After reading and discussing each of the three methods, you might announce that all students will be required to utilize both the "clause-and-colon method" and the "integration-of-keywords method" at least once in their next papers. Should you do that, I promise their papers will improve!
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Adam Jernigan, Ph.D.