....... I have noticed a huge variation and problems in pupils' use of quotations. Does anyone have any advice and/or sheets that I could make use of to develop this skill with my pupils? I had something from my time at university but can't find it anywhere.
In my experience there are three 'problem areas' when it comes to students' use of quotations and I am not too sure whether you are referring to one of these, all three ... or something different.
1] One of the things I found is that some students find it hard to know how to 'weave' quotations into their own essays so we collectively (students and I) built up a bank of different ways of saying, "Professor Bloggs says ......"
Eg. 'Professor Bloggs makes the point that..../ asserts that ...../argues the case for .../' or 'Professor Bloggs contradicts this point /denies that...../ etc etc.
2] Linked with this is the view that many students seem to hold that it's good enough to use quotations from the work of academic historians as if they are some sort of god-given truth failing to realise that this cuts no ice with examiners unless
the quotation is used to support/contradict what the student him/herself is saying OR if (preferably) the view in the quotation is evaluated.
So..... I used to clip bits out of student essays (or make them up if necessary!) and then discuss these in class. When their minds are sharply focussed on one thing like this they are usually pretty astute at seeing when a quotation is just being used for 'decoration'.
3] Finally there is the issue of which convention to use when using direct quotation from a book/article/website. Do you just put the source in brackets after the quotation? Do you footnote it? If so, which convention to do you use?
This is not a problem that crops up much at AS (unless I suppose it's in Coursework done out of class/not under exam conditions). It is a problem that occurs with A2 coursework. There I just used to give a handout with straightfoward instructions and examples to illustrate what to do. There are plenty of these guides on the Internet.
Try searching for "citation styles".
eg. Chicago Documentation Style
In the last resort your students need to understand that being able to quote from academic historians is NOT by itself credit worthy and that they are wasting their time trying to learn quotations off by heart for an exam unless
they are able to use them to good effect. The absolutely crucial thing is that they are able to evaluate an argument used by an historian/historians. So work in the classroom which gives examples which you work together on evaluating can be useful as are 'frameworks' such as:
"Professor Bloggs argued that (quotation) and this is supported by (evidence). However, this fails to recognise that (evidence) so on balance his opinion is not as well supported as it would first seem."
In short, what you need to develop is their critical abilities.
Does any of this cover what you meant?
Edited by Carole Faithorn, 27 November 2004 - 10:53 PM.