(Good quote choice.) See:
 
The key to cinching your essay's argument is finding the perfect quote to support your point. Don't let the quotation overwhelm your argument. Instead, choose the key portion of the passage which relates most specifically to the point you are making at that moment in your argument.

Example:

When Macbeth learns of his wife's death, he cannot grieve for her. Instead, he reflects upon the pointlessness his existence.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To th' last syllable of recorded time.
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools 
The way to dusty death.... (V, v, 18-22)


More on correct quotation form:

Using MLA Format (Powerpoint) (Purdue OWL)
Using MLA Format
(Purdue OWL)
The MLA Website 

Brief Overview of Quotation Marks (Purdue OWL)

Jump to:
Usage
Punctuation & Capitalization
Form
Content

 
(You need a good quote to support the point you are making.) See:
 
The key to cinching your essay's argument is finding the perfect quote to support your point. Don't let the quotation overwhelm your argument. Instead, choose the key portion of the passage which relates most specifically to the point you are making at that moment in your argument. The reader will know if you use quotes as padding. In general, the length of the quote should be proportional to its importance in your argument. Use longer, indented quotes sparingly. Look at the quotes you use carefully to see if you can pare them down.  Why does the quote support your thesis?  Do you need the whole quote?  Perhaps you only need one part of the quote, or one phrase.  If so, pull out this essential part for your reader and leave the rest of the quote  where you found it.  If you make your reader do this himself, he may fail to do so and then miss your point.

Examples:

Long quotes:
(Use sparingly.)

Phrases less essential to your paper should be removed:
Fitzgerald makes this clear early on, when Nick says:

Only Gatsby, who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction -- Gatsby who represented everything for which I have unaffected scorn.  ...No -- Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrow and short-winded elations of men (6).

Trimmed version:
Fitzgerald makes this clear early on, when Nick says:

Only Gatsby...was exempt from my reaction -- Gatsby who represented everything for which I have unaffected scorn.  ...No -- Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams...(6).

Or the quote can be worked into the text in several ways:

  • 1. Trim it down further:
    Perhaps the entire second half of the quote is non-essential:
    Fitzgerald makes this clear early on, when Nick says, "Only Gatsby...was exempt from my reaction -- Gatsby who represented everything for which I have unaffected scorn"(6).
     
  • 2. Break it up with your analysis:
    Fitzgerald makes this clear early on, when Nick says that "...Gatsby...was exempt from my reaction," despite the fact that Nick has "unaffected scorn" for everything Gatsby stands for (6).  What Nick hates is not Gatsby, or Gatsby's dreams, but "what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams"(6).
     
  • 3. Paraphrase:
    Put the passage into your own words. Usually this involves taking a longer passage and condensing it:
    Fitzgerald makes this clear early on when Nick says that he despises everything Gatsby stands for but not Gatsby himself.  Nick does not hate Gatsby's dreams, per se, but something associated with them.

#2 and #3 should probably be your most common quoting techniques.

 More on correct quotation form:

Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing (Purdue OWL) 
Using MLA Format
(Powerpoint) (Purdue OWL)

Using MLA Format
(Purdue OWL)
The MLA Website 

Brief Overview of Quotation Marks (Purdue OWL)

Jump to:
Usage
Punctuation & Capitalization
Form
Content

 

 
   
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