The UVic Writer's Guide

Short Quotations

In many undergraduate essays, especially those on literary topics, the most effective use of quotation is to incorporate short, illustrative passages from the text into the essay. On Othello you might write something like this (discussing Iago's view of love):

An Othello in love is merely "an erring barbarian," momentarily enticed but changeable in his appetites. A Desdemona in love is merely "a supersubtle Venetian" who married the Moor for lust and will leave him for youth "When she is sated with his body" (1.3.345, 350).

Quoting in this way both automatically supports the general point you are making, and indicates your familiarity with the text.

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Copyright, The Department of English, The University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated September 22, 1995