September 22, 2005

Quotes, Quotes, Quotes

While working on my first Spot News story, I found Chapter 8: "Your Words or Mine?" of The Associated Press Guide to Newswriting extremely helpful. What I was not expecting, however, was to find this chapter helpful for my essay writing as well.

Being a senior English major, I have written a gamut of literature essays using quotes in support of my thesis. Too often, I have noticed, I am unwilling to pare down a quote so that only the relevent information is cited. As a result, I often have much longer quotes than necessary, adding nothing but useless words to my essay. For this, the sections on partial quotes and paraphrasing were the most helpful.

I have never considered journalism my strength, but knowing that I will be able to use the skills I am learning in this class and apply them to other areas of my writing is exciting.

Posted by JohannaDreyfuss at September 22, 2005 10:33 AM | TrackBack

I also often have trouble with quotes. I realize in my news articles and in essays, I often use quotes for things I could have said in my own words.

Posted by: JennaOBrocto at September 22, 2005 11:15 PM

Hey Jo...Quotes are tricky man...because sometimes they feel so right and offical that you can't not put them in an essay or paper. I have gotten them down pretty good when it comes to Essays but News Writing is very new to me.

I often have the problem of taking a quote from an interview (one person) and trying to write my story around it when there is really no other supporting information to add. I get caught up in trying to tie the quote in then rather than go out and get more from new sources or ask other questions.

I think that quotes are immensely important when it comes to back-up for a story, but too many really makes your written content unimportant and some what shadowed.

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at September 25, 2005 05:19 PM

Isn't it great when textbooks can be multi-purposeful? I used my Drama as Lit. book "How to Read Literature like a Professor" on my "goals statement" essay for Thinking/Writing AND used it to squash a bug!

Posted by: Kayla Sawyer at September 27, 2005 04:57 PM

You're a trip, Kayla. LOL.

Leslie: the art of selecting and arranging quotations is also part of writing. But you're right -- a bunch of quotes without explanation or context isn't enough to make a story.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 28, 2005 12:31 AM
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