7 Uses of Quotations in Literary Essays and Other Kinds of Essays

7 Uses of Quotations in Literary Essays and Other Kinds of Essays

For students, teachers and other readers of books, quotation is a common thing. Quotations can be sayings, proverbs, idioms, words, vocabulary, important statements, or figures of speech from the book. Quotations are commonly quoted by enclosing them with quotation marks ("   "). 
The following are the 7 Uses of Quotations in Literary Essays and other Essays: 
1. Quotations from literary works are used as  the important ingredients in answering any literary essay question. The relevant quotations are more useful even if they are are single word quotations. 
Whichever question you choose to answer, remember to refer closely to the text, using quotations and details to back up the points that you are making. Single word quotations are often as effective as whole phrases or sentences.
Coleman, D.C et al (2010), (pg. 96)

2. Quotations are incorporated into the literary essay or other kinds of essay. When they are incorporated, they make the writing live and trustworthy to the readers. 
Remember, it is better to incorporate short, well-chosen quotations into the fabric of your essay, rather than quoting long passages without comment.”
Coleman, D.C et al (2010) (pg. 69)

3. Quotations from the literary work act as supporting evidences for literary essay's points. An essay writer may write various explanations about the topic, but the topic becomes meaningful when it's supported by the relevant quotations from the book. 
Remember to use quotations from the play as evidence to back up your ideas. The quotations do not have to be long but they do need to be relevant.
-Coleman, D.C et al (2010) (pg. 15)

4. Quotations are used to support one's own thoughts. It's a better idea to state one's own thoughts first, then followed by the use of the evidences from the literary work to support them. 
When you are interpreting a poet’s ideas, you need to state your own thoughts, followed by some evidence. This evidence could be a close reference or a quotation. You then need to give a more detailed explanation. Merely identifying specific devices adds little to your work.
Coleman, D.C et al (2010) (pg. 37)

5. Quotations are used to support various terminologies of a particular subject especially Literature subject. Definition of a terminology alone is not necessary in the body of an essay. It's good to explain what it is and support it with tangible evidences or quotations from the literary work in question. 
Remember, when discussing the language techniques, you don’t need to give definitions of these techniques. The examiner already knows what alliteration is; he or she is looking for your explanation of how specific examples are effective within the poem.
-Coleman, D.C et al (2010) (pg. 45)

6. Quotations allow further comments or explanations. Explanation of one's own comments or commentaries after the quotations is important as well. This helps to show how the reader has understood what has already quoted from the literary work. 
When using quotations in your answer, remember that you should always comment on the significance of your chosen quotation and how this helps to illustrate the point you wish to make.
-Coleman, D.C et al (2010) (pg. 107)

7. Quotations are used to describe characters clearly. Characters maybe supported by the relevant quotations from the book. This is helpful when the reader has been given the question on characters or he/she is describing characters in general in a character analysis. 
When analyzing characters in a play you need to back up what you say about them with relevant quotations. As well as lines spoken by the characters, it is also useful to refer to stage directions. These non-verbal actions can often reveal much about a character’s feelings and motivations.
Coleman, D.C et al (2010) (pg. 57)

Therefore, quotations are not only important in Literature but they also play a big role in other subjects or disciplines. Quotations show the effectiveness of the materials and the commitment of the readers. 

Coleman, D.C et al (2010) GCSE ENGLISH LITERATURE for OCR, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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