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Using Quotations Effectively Cardiff School of Religious & Theological Studies Astudiaethau Crefyddol a Diwinyddol.

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Presentation on theme: "Using Quotations Effectively Cardiff School of Religious & Theological Studies Astudiaethau Crefyddol a Diwinyddol."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Quotations Effectively Cardiff School of Religious & Theological Studies Astudiaethau Crefyddol a Diwinyddol

2 Introduction This presentation has been designed as a self-study guide, which you can work through at your own pace However, we recommend that you take at least 30 minutes to complete it We also recommend that you keep it as a reference guide after you have completed it Remember… This guide aims to complement and not replace other forms of learning If you need help, ask us! Its what were here for!

3 Aim The aim of this guide is… To introduce you to the correct use of quotations in academic writing Back

4 Objectives Once you have worked through this guide, you should be able to… Understand the main uses of quotations in academic writing Recognise some of the main features of accurate quotation Begin using quotations in your own essay writing Back

5 Definitions In order to understand how to use quotations, we first need to understand what quotations are A quotation can be defined as an exact report of the words of another person, whether written or spoken For example… Person A says, The cat sat on the mat. A quotation would therefore be a word for word reproduction of that phrase

6 Why Use Quotations? Now you know what quotations are, why should you use them when writing your essay? In other words, what are their strengths and weaknesses?

7 Strengths Used correctly, quotations can… Add a sense of depth Emphasise a significant point Help demonstrate your reading Develop your writing style Encourage further thought and reflection

8 Weaknesses Excessive or incorrect use of quotations can… Obscure your own ideas Make your essay too long Suggest that you are trying to hide poor research Make your essay difficult to read

9 Academic Conventions There are a number of important conventions which you should use when handling quotes… Exact Quotation You should always quote the passage exactly as it appears in the text. If the quote does not make sense, you can add words in square brackets. Example: The cat [sat] on the mat. Location Always record exactly where you took the quote from, with page number(s) included. Example: The cat [sat] on the mat (Frank, 1998, 111). This is because your readers (who are usually your examiners) need to able to check the accuracy of your quote

10 Academic Conventions (continued) Grammar Your quote should always make grammatical sense within the wider sentence. Example: According to Frank, The cat [sat] on the mat (Frank, 1998, 111). Single Quotation Marks: Use single quotation marks for all normal quotations Example: The cat [sat] on the mat. Double Quotation Marks (or Speech Marks): Use double quotation marks (speech marks) when citing a quote within a quote Example: According to Frank, The cat [sat] on the mat.

11 Short & Long Quotes According to convention, short and long quotations are handled differently It is important that you remember that… A short quote is a passage of less than two lines of text By contrast, a long quote is anything greater than two lines of text Make sure you remember this key difference

12 Short Quotes Short passages should be left within the main body of your paragraph Example According to Frank, The cat [sat] on the mat (1998, 111). From this, we can deduce that cats do indeed sit on mats. As you can see, the actual quote itself forms a discreet part of the paragraph in which it appears Section 8.1.5.1 – 8.1.5.2 of the Student Handbook has further examples

13 Long Quotes Extensive quotes (those longer than two lines) need to be treated slightly differently Such passages need to be separated from the main paragraph and indented Example According to Frank, The cat [sat] on the mat (1998, 111). From this, we can deduce that cats do indeed sit on mats. By contrast, Smith makes the following important point: Even though cats sit on mats, we must remember that cats can also sit on other surfaces. It is essential that we keep the multi-functional nature of cats and their possible seating options firmly in mind (Smith, 1994, 20). This is an important qualification … (and then continue writing) As you can see, this makes such a long passage stand out clearly Section 8.1.5.1 – 8.1.5.2 of the Student Handbook has further examples

14 Long Quotes (continued) Spacing Although the main body of your essay should be either 1.5 or double spaced, indented quotations should be single spaced (see the previous example).previous Section 8.1.5.1 – 8.1.5.2 of the Student Handbook has further examples

15 Things to Avoid Remember to keep sight of yourself when quoting from other writers. Sometimes, essays can turn into a collage of other peoples views, and the writer can appear as purely an editor. Example Pearson argues X, whereas Frotteur argues Y. Nimlet on the other hand maintains.... Remember that while the ability to engage with other critics is a very important aspect of Religious Studies, your own voice is ultimately the most important one in your essay. Adapted from the Module Handbook for Religion, Culture & Society Part I, by Dr. Jo Pearson

16 Things to Avoid (continued) Dont make quotations do the work of argument. If you include a quote, dont think that it proves your point just because its there. Explore and explain it. Example Marina Cogitator has called witchcraft an exploration of the difference between power and authority. In an opening prayer, one participant says… This version leaves Cogitators point unchallenged: it is simply there. As such, its worth a mark or two, but subjecting it to greater analysis will often yield rewards. Adapted from the Module Handbook for Religion, Culture & Society Part I, by Dr. Jo Pearson

17 Analysing Your Quote To really maximise the amount of marks you get, analyse the point your quote is making. Example Marina Cogitator has argued that witchcraft is an exploration of the difference between power and authority. By this, she means that true spiritual worth is divorced from earthly position, and that it is often humble or socially marginal people who possess genuine wisdom. Whether or not the fictitious Marina Cogitator is right isnt the point. The question is – does her suggestion help your argument, and can you accommodate her ideas alongside your own? Adapted from the Module Handbook for Religion, Culture & Society Part I, by Dr. Jo Pearson

18 Points to Remember As we have seen, the main difference between effective and ineffective quotations is appropriateness When deciding whether to use a quote, ask yourself… Why are you using it? How are you planning to use it? Where are you planning to use it? What does it add to your essay? How long is it? Is it really necessary? Does it make an absolutely essential point?

19 More Points to Remember What are you trying to say with your quote? Does it make grammatical sense? How does it affect your argument? Does it support, contrast with or challenge the point you are making? Will you be able to explore the quote and its significance? Do you have enough space to properly analyse the quote and the point it is making?

20 To Recap… Analyse your quote Explore its significance Contrast it with counter-arguments Decide its true value as a statement Remember… A quote is merely something someone else has said about your topic… By itself, it does not prove your point!

21 Conclusions Reviewing our AimsAims Reviewing our ObjectivesObjectives

22 Finding Extra Help You can find further help with quotes in… The Student Handbook The Guide to Academic Integrity Individual Module Handbooks You can also talk to… Lecturers (during their office hours) The Student Support Officer: Richard Cawley (CawleyR@cf.ac.uk or ext. 75611)

23 Cardiff School of Religious & Theological Studies Astudiaethau Crefyddol a Diwinyddol


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