editing disabled

WEAVING QUOTES INTO YOUR WRITING

Effective writers use a variety of techniques to integrate quotations into their text.
When you use a quote in your writing, consider:
  • What am I trying to say?
  • Can a passage from the text say it for me?
  • Have I explained the value of the quote?
Avoid "overquoting." It is important that your own voice is heard!
Discuss the effectiveness of the following writing samples:

Serious room for improvement:
William Golding's book Lord of the Flies is about kids stranded on an island. Some of the kids are good and some are bad. "Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever" (Golding 180). So I ask you, what causes irresponsible behavior? Ralph is good, but Jack is bad.

Room for improvement:
There are bad kids on the island. One of them is Roger. He drops a boulder on Piggy and kills him. "Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever" (Golding 180). This caused Piggy's death.

A possible revision:
The truest form of wickedness on the island is evident in Roger. He demonstrates his true depravity when, "with a sense of delirious abandonment, [he] leaned all his weight on the lever" (Golding 180). Well aware of Piggy's place beneath him, Roger willingly takes Piggy's life.

Another possible revision:
Roger's murder of Piggy clearly illustrates the depths children can sink to without appropriate supervision. As he stood high above Piggy on the mountain, "Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever" (Golding 180). His willingness to welcome the moment with "delirious abandonment" clearly demonstrates the level of pleasure that Roger received by committing this horrific act.

By Ken Rodoff, English teacher, Springfield Township High School, Erdenheim, PA.
Adapted by Joyce Valenza