Some tips for Exploring Quotations

Dear Year 11,

It just occurred to me, at Parents’ Evening, that you may well find it helpful to have a list of questions to ask of a quotation – to help you with the ‘Exploring’ bits of your essays.

Here are some:

1. Does this quotation remind me of something written previously in the text? In what ways is it similar? In what ways is it different?

2. Does this quotation remind me of something that occurs later on in the text? In what ways is it similar? In what ways is it different?

3. Is this quotation part of a pattern of images that occurs throughout the text? How does it fit into that pattern?

4. Does this quotation conjure up a specific image or idea in my mind? Which word(s), in particular, are doing the conjuring?

5. Is the writer using any specific literary device in this quotation? What and how and why?

6. What is the purpose of this quotation, and how is it achieved?

I’ll give two credits to anyone who thinks of some kind of acronym that we can use to remember them. (Post it in a comment below.)

Best wishes,

Ms. North

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