MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

363 views

How do I effectively analyse a quotation in a text?

When writing an essay, it is imperative that you close read quotations from the set text you are studying. However, this can be tricky- particurarly if you are not familiar with poetic devices, rhetoric and key literary terminology. My advice to students would be to compile a list of these features and ensure you are familiar with them before you approach a quotation or passage. Once you have fully understand these terms, feature spotting will not be too difficult. 

The three rules of analysing a quotation are as follows:

1) Contextualisation.

Whilst you can assume that the reader of your essay is familiar with the text you are discussing, it is important that you tell them which part of the text the quote can be found. This does not mean summarising the plot, but simply refreshing the memory of the reader. 

2) Presentation.

If you are quoting individual words or one line, it is more impressive to interweave it into one of your own sentences. For example,

The Wife of Bath introduces her discussion of “wo that is in mariage” by claiming that “Housbondes at chirche dore I have had fyve”.

3) Explication.

Here is where you feature spot. Using the terminology you are familiar with, find literary devices that the writer uses in one line or even a couple of words and then explain their significance. Why does Shakespeare's use of chiasmus support your argument? Identify the feature and then explain why it is relevant to your argument. This sounds a lot easier than it is, but practise really does make perfect in this case. 

Top tip: Try analysing one line of your set text a day to get used to feature spotting.

Louise Howland H. GCSE English Language tutor, A Level English Langua...

12 months ago

Answered by Louise, an A Level English Literature tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

76 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£22 /hr

Timothy G.

Degree: English Literature (Bachelors) - Bristol University

Subjects offered: English Literature, Physics+ 1 more

English Literature
Physics
English Language

“Hi, my name is Tim and I am currently studying English Literature at Bristol University.Since I was young I have been enthusiastic about literature and the English language. I believe literature to be one of the cornerstones of human...”

£20 /hr

Charlotte B.

Degree: Media, Communication and Cultural Studies (Bachelors) - Newcastle University

Subjects offered: English Literature, Media Studies+ 1 more

English Literature
Media Studies
-Personal Statements-

“Hi, I'm Charlotte! I'm a first year studying BA Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Newcastle University. Throughout my education I have developed strong skills in analysis, essay writing and general understanding of the subj...”

MyTutor guarantee

£24 /hr

Megan S.

Degree: English (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: English Literature, Psychology+ 2 more

English Literature
Psychology
History
-Personal Statements-

“I am a student of English Literature at Durham University. I absolutely love literature; although I also take a keen interest in psychology, having taken modules in that as well during my time at the university. I have a real passion ...”

About the author

Louise H.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: English Language and Literature (Bachelors) - Oxford, Jesus College University

Subjects offered: English Literature, History+ 1 more

English Literature
History
English Language

“About Me: I'm Louise, a second year English Language and Literature student at Jesus College, University of Oxford. From a young age, I have always been fascinated by literature and studying at Oxford has enabled me to read everything...”

You may also like...

Other A Level English Literature questions

What do Feminist critics do?

How do you approach an English essay?

How do I go about analysing a poem?

“The Fool knows that the only true madness is to recognise this world as rational.” How far is this an adequate explanation of King Lear?

View A Level English Literature tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok