Using Quotations in Academic Writing

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URL OF VIDEO OF THIS PRESENTATION: https://vimeo.com/77981830
(please note that this is not a professional production but an informal video recorded for student and should be viewed as such)

This lecture is intended for 3rd year students about to write a literature review or a dissertation. It is intended to remind them about the various ways that they can use quotations and the role they take in academic writing.

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Using Quotations in Academic Writing

  1. 1. USING QUOTATIONS IN ACADEMIC WRITING Dr Lance Dann
  2. 2. TWO USES REFERENCE EVIDENCE
  3. 3. REFERENCE  Used for discussion of a text  Used illustrating or summarising an argument or discussion  Bringing attention to an idea that is uniquely expressed in text  You can also summarise the idea and write a precise of it.
  4. 4. EXAMPLE – OF A QUOTATION The concept of Transmedial story telling is born of the work in the early part of the 21st Century by Henry Jenkin, who in his 2006 book Convergence Culture refers to a new form of digital storytelling, one in which „all media forms are created equal and together share the narrative load‟ (Jenkins, 2006: 132).
  5. 5. EVIDENCE – PROOVE IT!  Support for your ideas  You can‟t make a broad statement without backing it up.  You need someone, an academic or person of note, to be standing at your shoulder when you assert something.
  6. 6. EXAMPLE 1 Apocalypse Now is the most significant and important film in the early history of sound design How does the examiner respond? “SAYS WHO? LANCE DANN? Who the „F‟ are you to say that ya limey mofo. Man you ain‟t no acdemic, you ain‟t no one! No one I tell you and to proove it I‟m going to wipe out your punk-ass grade!”
  7. 7. EXAMPLE II William Whittington, in his 2007 text Science Fiction and Sound Design, describes Apocalypse Now as, „the most significant and important film the history of sound design‟ (Whittington, 2007: 132). How does the examiner respond? “Oh yes of course, I am aware of Whittington‟s seminal work on this subject and respect his views. This must be a, as you say, very important film. Here have an extra higher grade for your excellent citing of an academic reference.”
  8. 8. THIS IS ONE WHAT I WROTE David Mamet praises Esslin for helping to „re-create a national theatre by enfranchising creative talent.... By encouraging freedom of thought – by hiring the writers and letting them be free‟ (Mamet, 1986: 17).
  9. 9. PARAPHRASING You can introduce studies that agree with you (Smith, 2001; Jones and Chin, 2003) and those that disagree with you (Mohan and Corbett, 2007) without interrupting your own argument.
  10. 10. TRY TO PARAPHRASE WHENEVER POSSIBLE It makes you text easier to read. It demonstrates that you have grasped the core ideas. It makes synthesis of ideas easier.
  11. 11. EVIDENCE – PRIMARY RESEARCH  Quotations can also be drawn from your primary research.  If you interview someone you reference their PoV or ideas to illustrate a point.  Use them as a vox-pop or a way of showing movements and trends in opinion.
  12. 12. AN EXAMPLE FROM MY BRILLIANT PHD Katie Hims details how a single, poetic image (for instance „a woman sitting at a train station in a wedding dress‟) can speak to her imagination and serve as the catalyst for her creative process: „To begin creating a story with an issue initially makes my heart sink. I can find an issue working from a beautiful image much more easily than I can find a beautiful image working from an issue‟ (Hims, interview 2008).
  13. 13. OR YOU CAN SUMMARISE SOMEONE‟S IDEAS There is perhaps still a place for the intensely personal monologue, the character-led play or a piece of poetic musing, as long as it is felt to resonate with the audience either through personal issues or events and concerns covered in the mass media (Dromgoole, interview 2009).
  14. 14. SOME RULES  Do not use italics to indicate quotes.  If you include a long quotation (of four lines or more) you should indent it from the lefthand margin (in which case you should drop the inverted commas).  In the main part of your research you should avoid using too many quotations – leave room for your own ideas
  15. 15. USE QUOTES TO LAUNCH DISCUSSION… NOT SILENCE IT. Find ways of introducing quotes that go against you ideas. Find ways of interjecting quotes that you can use to fire up discussion. Find ways of doing more than just answering questions with quotes. Try and avoid ending every paragraph with a quote.
  16. 16. TRY NOT TO DO THIS… Introduction to concept or idea X. Summary and ideas from Source A. Summary and ideas from Source B. Summary and ideas from Source C. Conclusion: “Therefore, this paper has shown presented ideas A, B, and C help to prove point X.”
  17. 17. THIS LEADS TO THIS RESPONSE FROM THE EXAMINER… Because you are not making an argument you are just telling us what books you have read.
  18. 18. THIS SORT OF THING WOULD BE BETTERER!  Introduction  Point 1 (Sources A and B agree, but source C disagrees.)  Point 2 (Sources A and C agree, but source B doesn‟t mention it directly.)  Point 2, continued. (Based on things that source B says about related issues, suggest that source B would likely disagree with sources A and C.)  Point 3 (Sources B and C both disagree with A, but for different reasons.)  Conclusion
  19. 19. LEADING TO THIS RESPONSE FROM THE EXAMINERS  Because it is about ideas.  Because it is not a set formula  Because it shows you taken the reading on board, thought about and then kind of remixed it when you give it back to us!
  20. 20. WORKING WITH THE SOURCE MATERIAL  You can add letters or even words by using these <>  So if the Guardian said in an article about me: „He wears nice shirts but is an awful lectuer who seems to think he is some kind of academic genius‟.  You can say: „<Lance Dann> wears nice shirts but is an awful lectuer who seems to think he is some kind of academic genius‟.
  21. 21. …  You may want to omit words by using elipsis… The Guardian said, „<Lance Dann> wears nice shirts… but seems to think he is some kind of academic genius‟.  Be careful not to change the meaning of the source. The Guardian said, „<Lance Dann>… is an… academic genius‟.
  22. 22. BED IN YOUR QUOTES
  23. 23. Dr Dann writes, „pdfpdfpdpf‟ (Dann, 2012: 132). There is evidence to contradict Dr Dann‟s idea that, „pdfpdfpdpf‟ (Dann, 2012: 132). Dr Dann, in his 2011 paper „I am bloody great‟ hypothesizes that, „pdfpdfpdpf‟ (Dann, 2012: 132). The work of the UK academic Lance Dann support this position, he attempts to demonstrate the use of cheese in independent film making is indicative of, „pdfpdfpdpf‟ (Dann, 2012: 132). Dr Dann concludes that, „pdfpdfpdpf‟ (Dann, 2012: 132).
  24. 24. FINAL TIP - PUNCTUATION  COMMA  THEN SINGLE QUOTATION     MARK THEN QUOTE THEN SINGLE QUOTATION MARK THEN BRACKET AND CITATION DETAIL THEN CLOSE BRACKET THEN FULL STOP – IF AT END OF SENTENCE

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