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Writing about Literature: Quoting and Revising

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1 Writing about Literature: Quoting and Revising
ENG 404: AP Literature and Composition Introduction to AP Literature

2 The Use of References and Quotations in Writing about Literature
Section I: The Use of References and Quotations in Writing about Literature

3 Why Use References and Quotations?
Establish evidence for your points Keep time sequences straight within your essay Refer to biographical and historical details

4 Distinguishing Your Thoughts from the Author’s
When integrating quotes, you must try to Arrange your sentences to clearly distinguish between your thoughts and the author’s, but Blend your materials (quotes and references) so your reader can follow your train of thought In Sample Passage A, the writer combines but also separates paraphrase, interpretation, and quotation, eliminating possible confusion.

5 Use Quotation Marks for Short Quotations
Use quotation marks to set off short (fewer than 25 words) quotations from the author. For these internal quotations (quotations made inside of your essay paragraphs), treat poetry and prose the same way. If a poetic quotation extends from the end of one poetic line to the beginning of another: Indicate the line break with a virgule (/), and Use a capital letter to begin the next line. See Sample Passage B for an example.

6 Blend Quotations into Your Own Sentences
Do not bring in a quotation without preparing your reader for it. Incorrect use of quotation: Wordsworth’s woodland grove is filled with the sounds of birds, the sights of flowers, and the feeling of the light wind, making for the thought that creatures of the natural world take pleasure in life. “The birds around me hopped and played.” Correct use of quotation: Wordsworth’s woodland scene is made joyful by the surrounding flowers and the gentle breeze, causing his speaker, who states that “The birds around me hopped and played,” to conclude that the natural world has resulted from a “holy plan” created by Nature.

7 Indent and Block Long Quotations
Long quotations (25 words or more) demand more attention than shorter ones. Introduce the quotation within your essay paragraphs. Then, set off the long quotation separately as a block of text. When quoting lines of poetry in a block, quote them as lines of verse. Do not use the guidelines for quoting poetry within a paragraph. See Sample Passage C.

8 Indent and Block Long Quotations continued
The layout for block quotations is as follows: Leave a double-space between your essay paragraph and the quotation Double-space the quotation itself Indent the entire block quotation 5 spaces from your left and right margins Do not use quotation marks After the block quotation, leave another double- space, and then resume your essay and essay formatting.

9 Use an Ellipsis to Show Omissions
If you choose to omit something from a quotation, use an ellipsis (three spaced periods) to show the omission. See Sample Passage D. Do not use an ellipsis if the quotation is very brief: Incorrect: Keats asserts that “. . . a thing of beauty . . .” always gives joy. Correct: Keats asserts that “a thing of beauty” always gives joy.

10 Adding Words within Quotations
You may add your own words to a quotation in order to Integrate the quotation into your train of discourse, or Explain words that may be undefined or obscure Put square brackets around the words that you add to set them off from the rest of the quotation. See Sample Passage E.

11 Other Notes on Quotations
Do not use too many quotations. The majority of the paper should consist of your own original thoughts. Create your own discussion and use appropriate examples and quotes to connect your thoughts to the text. Do not change spellings in your source. When quoting, try to duplicate everything exactly as you found it in the source text. If you think something in the quote is misspelled or confusing as it stands, you may Clarify or correct the confusing word within brackets, or Use the word sic in brackets immediately after the problematic word or mistake.

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