When should I use a book quotation in my writing?

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It is important to use quotations in your essays as evidence for a point you are making. Use 'PQO' to remember the important steps you must adhere to when writing an essay. 

Point - make your point in your own words that links back to the essay title.

Quote - select a quotation from the text that you think you could use as evidence for the point you just made. 

Opinion - do you agree with the quote? It is critical to give your opinion on the quote and the situation - what are your views?

example: 'how are 'dreams' a key theme in mice and men?' 

Point: Dreams play a key role in the novel. George and Lennie share their dream of wanting to own a little patch of land and live on it in freedom:

quote: 'someday - we're gonna get the jack together and we're gonna have a little house and a couple of acres an' a cow and some pigs and...'.

Opinion / new point: This quotation effectively portrays George and Lennie's dreams for the future. It is clear that George is more aware than Lennie that this dream is perhaps a hopeful one; one that may never come true, yet he is holding on to it for the sake of Lennie who needs constant reassurance and help from George:

quote: 'tell me George. You tell it. It ain't the same if I tell it. Go on... George. How I get to tend the rabbits'. 

Opinion: George is a stronger character than Lennie, and this juxtaposes Lennie's innocence and juvenile behaviour, validating the point that George is vital for Lennie's survival, which is ironing given what happens at the end of the book.

Opinions of quotations often link on to a new point for your essay, and this is what creates a solid structure; one which flows well and has a sense of continuity. Keeping this structure throughout helps to stay on track and write an essay which is ordered and relevant to the title. 

Alexandra C. GCSE English tutor, GCSE English Literature tutor, GCSE ...

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