Quoting Text In An Essay

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Quotations, better known though their abbreviation as ‘quotes’, are a form of evidence used in VCE essays.

Using quotations in essays helps to demonstrate your knowledge of the text, as well as providing solid evidence for your arguments.

The discussion on quotations in this study guide can be applied to all three areas of study in the VCAA English course which have been explained in detail in our: Ultimate Guide to VCE Text Response, Comparative, and Language Analysis.

A quotation is the repetition of a group of words taken from a text by someone other than the original author.

Here is the same example again, with the student using ellipsis: The multitudes of deaths surrounding Anna began to take its toll on her, burdening her with guilt as she felt ‘the press of their ghosts…[and] begun to step small and carry myself all hunched…as if to leave room for them.’ (In this case, we have deleted:‘sometimes, if I walked the main street of the village in the evening’ and ‘I realised then that I had’ by using an ellipsis – a part of the quotation that is not missed because it does not represent the essence of the student’s argument.

You would have noticed that a square bracket ([ ]) was used.The American standard involves styling quotations with the double inverted comma.You can choose either styles, just be consistent in your essays.Plagiarism occurs when you take someone else’s work and pass it off as your own.You must make sure that you use quotation marks whenever you use evidence from your text. VCAA uses statistical analysis to compare a student’s work with their General Achievement Test (GAT), and if the cross-referencing indicates that the student is achieving unexpectedly high results with their schoolwork, the student’s school will be notified and consequential actions will be taken.This is dependent on which aspect of the text you are discussing, for example: if a student merely adds in quotes as ‘sentence fillers’.Throwing in quotations just to make your essay appear more sophisticated will only be more damaging if the quotation does not adequately reinforce or expand on your contention.Your assessor will not mark you highly if the bulk of your paragraphs consist of long quotations.You should aim to keep your quotations less than 2 lines on an A4 writing page.Below is a good example of blending in quotations: John Proctor deals with his own inner conflict as he is burdened with guilt and shame of his past adulterous actions.Yet during the climatic ending of the play, Proctor honours his principles as he rejects signing a false confession.


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