by Owen Stanczak
To select quotes, it is important to first understand what it is that you are talking about. Trying to select quotes without a strong central thesis often leads to a jumble of unrelated segments from the text or texts you are using for support.
The first step is to think carefully and clearly about the point you are trying to make. What is your claim? Why did you choose that claim? Was there something about the text that led you to your conclusion? What specifically about the text relates to the claim you are making?
Once you have established your claim, begin thinking about which parts of the text that you are using relate to specific parts of your claim. Thinking about this will allow you to pinpoint areas where you may find the most relevant quotes. I always try to remember specific sentences or phrases that stood out to me while reading.
Once you find quotes that fit your claim, begin to organize them. You can do this by writing them down, or using sticky notes. Use a system to organize them, whether by topic, or by order which they will appear in your paper. Using different colored sticky notes to differentiate topics, and numbering each sticky note in the order in which the quote will appear in your paper is one effective method.
Once you have chosen and organized your quotes, you can easily incorporate them into your paper. Just make sure to introduce and explain your quotes when they appear in the paper and you’re all set!