Exercise: Quotations and Planning


Come to class with four quotations from at least three secondary sources (in other words, you may take two quotations from the same source) you plan to use for your research project. Each quotation must be properly formatted and cited. Note: these must be secondary sources. Quotations from primary sources are not approriate for this assignment.

At least three of these quotations must be Type 1. The fourth may be Type 1 or Type 2.

Below each quotation, explain how you plan to use the quotation in your essay. If it is Type 1 quotation, start by explaining whether you plan to extend, apply, logically rebut, or rebut based on evidence. Then go into a little more detail (three or four sentences should be sufficient) in each case: what specific point (not your thesis) you think it helps you support, how you can apply it in a new way, where the logical flaw is, or what evidence you think the author ignores or misinterprets. If it is a Type 2 quotation, explain why the information it presents is useful to your argument.

In effect, this assignment is a partial version of the Research Project.


Again, not every passage is worth quoting or needs quoting. Make sure the quotations you choose are both useful and need to be quoted.

The quotations must be substantial enough to give you something to work with productively in your essay. Typically, that means they are at least one full independent clause. On the other hand, the longer a quotation is, the harder achieving a good ratio of commentary to quotation becomes. For the sake of this exercise, the quotation should be between 15 and 35 words.

Make sure your quotations make sense out of context. If they do not, set them up in such a way that the meaning is clear.

Your explanation of how you plan to use each quotation should require between 50-75 words.

You must format quotations correctly. Format and parenthetically cite quotations according to either MLA or APA guidelines. You may use either, but be consistent.

Bring three hard-copies with you to class. After getting your peers’ feedback, make any changes you wish to the document. Also, send the document directly to me at rnanian@gmu.edu as an attachment to an e-mail message by Thursday.

If you complete the exercise according to the instructions, you will receive full credit. Ignoring elements of the instructions can bring that down.