One of our key premises isthat to launch an effectiveargument you need to writethe arguments of others intoyour text. One of the bestways to do this is by notonly summarizing what “theysay,” but by quoting theirexact words.
The main problem withquotation arises whenwriters assume thatquotations speak forthemselves. Because themeaning of a quotation isobvious to them, manywriters assume that thismeaning will also beobvious to their readers,when often it is not.
In a way,quotations areorphans: wordsthat have beentaken from theiroriginal contextsand that need tobe integrated intotheir new textualsurroundings.
Quoting what“they say” mustalways beconnected withwhat you say.
Finding relevantquotations is onlypart of your job;you also need topresent them in away that makestheir relevanceand meaning clearto your readers.
Since quotations donot speak forthemselves, you needto build a frame aroundthem in which you dothat speaking for them.
To adequately frame aquotation, you need toinsert it into what we liketo call a “quotation Context Statementsandwich,” with the Savory Quotestatement introducing thecontext serving as the top Analysisslice of bread and theexplanation following itserving as the bottomslice.
CONTEXT: Theintroductory or lead-in claims shouldexplain who isspeaking or what ishappening, and set upwhat the quotationsays.
Quote: Repeats asigniﬁcant passagefrom the novel. Thequote is signiﬁcantif it supports theessay writer’sthesis or main idea.
Analysis: The follow-up statementsshould explain whyyou consider thequotation to beimportant and whatyou take it to say.
Templates for IntroducingQuotationsX states, “_____” (PN).In [name of book], X maintains that“_____” (PN).In X’s view, “_____” (PN).
Templates for ExplainingQuotationsBasically, X is saying _____.In other words, X believes _____.X’s point is that _____.