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Integrating Quotations into Sentences. You should never have a quotation standing alone as a complete sentence, or, worse yet, as an incomplete sentence,

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Presentation on theme: "Integrating Quotations into Sentences. You should never have a quotation standing alone as a complete sentence, or, worse yet, as an incomplete sentence,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Integrating Quotations into Sentences

2 You should never have a quotation standing alone as a complete sentence, or, worse yet, as an incomplete sentence, in your writing. The quotation will seem disconnected from your own thoughts and from the flow of your sentences.

3 Some typical “howlers”: The theme of erotic love is present in many passages. “The skin is sumptuously soft. The body. The body is thin, lacking in strength” (38). Another theme that repeats through the novel is…yadda x 3 Madness is a recurring motif, as shown by the following quote, “I too will enter a state much worse than death, the state of madness” (84). The narrator’s feelings towards her mother are conflicted--”It’s in this valor, human, absurd, that I see true grace” (96).

4 There are four main techniques for integrating, or blending, quotations into your writing.

5 1. Introduce the quotation with a complete sentence and a colon. The love affair in the novel is marked by an repetitive obsession with the physicality of the two lovers: “The skin is sumptuously soft. The body. The body is thin, lacking in strength” (38). The recurring motif of madness becomes especially pronounced as the narrator describes her terror at the thought of being touched by the “madwoman” of Vinh Long: “What’s sure is the memory of my whole being’s certainty that if the woman touches me, even lightly, with her hand, I too will enter a state much worse than death, the state of madness” (84). The narrator’s mother attempts to preserve a sense of family by showing photos of her children to her cousins. This effort solicits tender feelings from the narrator: “It’s in this valor, human, absurd, that I see true grace” (96). This is an easy rule to remember: if you use a complete sentence to introduce a quotation, you need a colon after the sentence. Be careful not to confuse a colon (:) with a semicolon (;). Using a comma in this situation will most likely create a comma splice, one of the serious sentence-boundary errors.

6 2. Use an introductory or explanatory phrase, but not a complete sentence, separated from the quotation with a comma. The narrator’s curiously detached obsession with the body of the lover becomes apparent when she recalls, “The skin is sumptuously soft. The body. The body is thin, lacking in strength” (38). The barely repressed fear of madness becomes most obvious when the narrator says, “What’s sure is the memory of my whole being’s certainty that if the woman touches me, even lightly, with her hand, I too will enter a state much worse than death, the state of madness” (84). The mother’s obsession with the photographs of her children is an indicator of both her madness and her humanity. According to the Duras’ narrator, “It’s in this valor, human, absurd, that I see true grace” (96). You should use a comma to separate your own words from the quotation when your introductory or explanatory phrase ends with a verb such as "says," "said," "thinks," "believes," "pondered," "recalls," "questions," and "asks" (and many more). You should also use a comma when you introduce a quotation with a phrase such as "According to…”

7 3. Make the quotation a part of your own sentence without any punctuation between your own words and the words you are quoting. The narrator’s curiously detached obsession with the body of the lover becomes apparent when she relates that her lover’s “skin is sumptuously soft” (38). The narrator has an irrational fear that the woman’s insanity is contagious and that if she is touched by the “madwoman”, she “too will enter a state much worse than death, the state of madness” (84). Note: When one uses signal introductory terms, such as “says”, “claims”, states”, etc. with a comma, one can often replace the comma that follows these terms with the word “that”. This will make the quotation part of your own sentence. For example, “The narrator says, ‘The livid red streetlights are lit’” becomes “The narrator says that ‘The livid red streetlights are lit’”.

8 4. Use short quotations--only a few words--as part of your own sentence. The mother’s collecting of photographs of her children produces an admiration in the narrator. In this “valor” of her mother’s, she sees “true grace” (96).

9 Strong pieces of writing will feature all of the above quotation methods—a complete sentence with a colon, an introductory phrase or word with a comma, the integration of the quotation into one’s own sentence, and the use of words or short phrases integrated into one’s own sentence—without relying overly on any single one. Rule 1: Complete sentence: "quotation." (If you use a complete sentence to introduce a quotation, use a colon (:) just before the quotation.) Rule 2: Someone says, "quotation." (If the word just before the quotation is a verb indicating someone uttering the quoted words, use a comma. Examples include the words "says," "said," "states," "asks," and "yells." But remember that there is no punctuation if the word "that" comes just before the quotation, as in "the narrator says that.") Rule 3: If Rules 1 and 2 do not apply, do not use any punctuation between your words and the quoted words Note: one uses only colons or commas to introduce quotations.

10 YOU MUST COMMENT ON THE QUOTATIONS YOU INTRODUCE! Respect the author and your reader. Explain how the quotation supports or exemplifies your point. Do not assume that the text you’ve quoted will speak for itself. You must contextualize your quotation and develop its significance. The narrator’s curiously detached obsession with the body of the lover becomes apparent when she recalls, “The skin is sumptuously soft. The body. The body is thin, lacking in strength” (38). There is a near clinical tone in her listing of the man’s physical features. This dispassionate observation juxtaposes oddly with the intimacy of their contact. The narrator has an irrational fear that the woman’s insanity is contagious and that if she is touched by the “madwoman”, she “too will enter a state much worse than death, the state of madness” (84). The woman of Vinh Long, with her ragged clothes and manic manner, stands in contrast to that more hidden exemplar of female madness that the narrator has in her own family: her mother. The woman’s “shrieks” and “laughs” (84) make public the terror that the narrator has only seen in a domestic setting.

11 See the following for more information on formatting quotations, works cited/references, and in-text citation: Purdue Owl Online Writing Lab (MLA, APA, Chicago guides, clear info on all the rules) https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ Grammar Girl (Google questions about usage, punctuation, and other issues with the phrase “grammar girl” for lots of clear info) The following paper guides are very useful for issues of style and usage: 1. Elements of Style – William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White (short, cheap, enormously useful) 2. Little, Brown Handbook (fat, expensive and completely exhaustive)

12 Assignment! Use these four methods—sentence and colon, signal phrase and comma, “long blended”, and “short blended”— to summarize or explicate the action of a single page or scene.


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