|What to include literary analysis
Take a look at this sample
paragraph. It includes 3 basic kinds of materials:
statements expressing the student's own ideas about the
relationship Woolf is creating;
data or evidence from the text in summarized, paraphrased,
and quoted form; and
discussion of how the data support the writer's interpretation.
The quotations are used in accordance with the writer's purpose,
i.e. to show how the development of Mrs. Ramsey's feelings indicates
something about her personality.
|Should I quote?
Quoting is only one of several ways
to present textual material as evidence.
You can also refer to textual data, summarize,
and paraphrase. You will often want merely to refer or point
to passages (as in the third sentence in the sample
paragraph) that contribute to your argument.
In other cases you will want to paraphrase, i.e. "translate"
the original into your own words, again instead of quoting. Summarize
or paraphrase when it is not so much the language of the text
that justifies your position, but the substance or content.
Similarly, after you have decided
that you do want to use material in quoted form, quote only the
portions of the text specifically relevant to your point.
Think of the text in terms of units--words, phrases, sentences,
and groups of sentences (paragraphs, stanzas)--and use only the
units you need.
If it is particular words or phrases that "prove"
your point, you do not need to quote the sentences they appear
in; rather, incorporate the words and phrases into sentences expressing
your own ideas.