Avoiding Stand Alone “Quotes”



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Avoiding Stand Alone “Quotes”

  • DON’T LEAVE THEM HANGING!

What is a Stand Alone Quote?

  • The writer includes quoted material and does not set it up with an appropriate transition.
  • The quote is left hanging in the middle of the paragraph, used as a topic sentence, or is the last sentence of the paragraph .
  • There is no lead-in or lead-out transition.

An Example of Stand Alone Quotes

  • Equality is achieved in the year 2081. “All of this equality was due to… the unceasing vigilance of the agents of the United States Handicapper General” (Vonnegut). People like George and Harrison Bergeron wear complex handicaps. “To keep people like George from taking an unfair advantage of their brains” (Vonnegut).

Stand Alone Quote Correction: Lead-IN

  • Equality is achieved through the “unceasing vigilance of the agents of the United States Handicapper General” (Vonnegut). People like George and Harrison Bergeron wear complex handicaps to prevent them from “taking an unfair advantage of their brains” (Vonnegut).

Stand Alone Quote Correction: Lead-OUT

  • “The unceasing vigilance of the agents of the United States Handicapper General” ensures that equality is achieved and enforced (Vonnegut). “To keep people…from taking an unfair advantage of their brains,” elaborate handicaps are issued to gifted individuals (Vonnegut).

Stand Alone Quote Correction: Build a Sentence Around a Quoted Idea

  • There is no requirement for the length of the quote. Use only what you need.
  • The fact that everyone believes people “ought to be a little more promiscuous…” shows that the World Controllers have ruined the importance of commitment (Huxley 43).

Stand Alone Quote Correction: Build a Sentence Around a Quoted Idea

  • One of the distinguishing characteristics of dystopian literature is that the “citizens must conform to uniform expectations” and that individuality is seen as a threat (“Dystopias: Definitions and Characteristics”).

Stand Alone Quote Correction: Build a Sentence Around a Quoted Idea

  • With each victory, “Beowulf [is] granted new glory” which is evident in the riches he earns, and his increasing fame (Beowulf 43).

When Paraphrasing …

  • Sometimes your own words work the best. Paraphrase and include the citation at the end of the paraphrase.
  • Since Gawain accepts his punishment and offers his neck to the blade, the Green Knight considers Gawain to be as pure as the day he was born (Gawain the Poet 221).

When Writing About Literature…

      • ALWAYS write in the present tense.
      • This is present tense…
        • Gawain lies to the lord of the castle when he shares the kiss from the lady but hides the sash.
  • This is past tense… NEVER USE IT!
        • Gawain lied to the lord of the castle when he shared the kiss from the lady but hid the sash.

Follow-Up Analysis

  • THIS IS NOT A BOOK REPORT; NOBODY WANTS TO READ PLOT SUMMARY.
  • IT’S TIME FOR ANALYSIS

It’s time for the follow-up analysis…

  • You’ve stated your example. You’ve set-up the quote and it is imbedded in a sentence.
  • This is when you show the reader that your example proves your overall thesis statement.
    • For every sentence you devote to stating the example you need a least two sentences of analysis.
    • Plot summary doesn’t prove the thesis, you have to prove the thesis with analysis

Follow-Up Analysis

  • Beowulf’s pursuit of perfection depends upon his traits, which reflect the important ideals of his society, including honor, fairness, and bravery. When Beowulf volunteers to fight Grendel, he chooses to battle without using any weapons. In the passage Beowulf says, “I have heard, too, that the monster’s scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Nor will I” (Beowulf Poet 38). This decision shows his bravery because Beowulf swears to fight fairly and refuses to face his opponent with an unfair advantage. Even though Beowulf wants what is best for his society, and the monster is much more powerful than him, he cannot risk the shame of fighting dishonorably. The idea of fighting with honor is a strongly held Anglo-Saxon value. Fighting Grendel with weapons would tarnish Beowulf’s quest for perfection, since people “might think less of [him] if [he] let [his] sword go where [his] feet were afraid to…”( Beowulf Poet 38) Therefore, the hero’s quest for perfection must be obtained honorably, fairly, and bravely.

Use Interesting Sentence Starters

  • AVOID
  • TRY THIS
  • When you begin your follow-up analysis, avoid repetitive and boring sentence starters.
  • This quote proves…
  • As you can see…
  • In this situation, it proves …
  • “Harrison Bergeron” tells how...
  • This quote from Brave New World says...
  • I picked this quote because…
  • Refer to the actions, statements, and feelings of the characters.
  • Bernard’s actions are significant because…
  • Huxley’s warning shows that...
  • This situation proves...
  • The critic believes that...
  • In other words, the poet is...
  • The author warns us that…
  • The character’s actions show…

Now it is your turn…

  • Write your body paragraphs based on what you outlined. Be sure to include:
    • Topic sentence that relates to argument in thesis
    • Stating the example from the story
    • Building sentences around a quoted passages
    • Follow-up analysis that proves thesis
    • Transition sentence


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