The Quill

The Quill

Dear Peer Consultants,

Recently, I got my essay back, and my professor left a comment saying that I need to work on the way I introduce authors. I want to improve on my writing abilities in order to ensure that I finish strong this semester, but I can’t figure out what I should be doing differently. What should I do in the first place?

Sincerely,

Burned Out

Dear Burned Out,

At first, introducing quotations can be difficult; however, we hope that our explanation clears up your confusion!

Although hanging out with friends and writing an essay are two very different activities, they are comparable in a certain respect. Inserting quotations bears a lot of resemblance to introducing two friends together. Now, we’ve all met someone through a friend, and sadly know about the invisibility that comes with being poorly introduced. So, when quoting someone in your writing, consider your professor, and the author you chose to quote, friends of yours. While the credibility and quality of what you’re quoting is important, flow and fluidity matter just as much. By writing a sentence that offers the audience a brief description of the author, you justify the quote being included and reassure the audience that it connects to your essay.

For instance,

“In his essay College Prepares People for Life, Freeman Hrabowski begins his third paragraph by reaffirming that colleges prepare people for jobs while proposing its many benefits do not end there: ‘Yes, colleges prepare people for jobs, but more critically, they prepare people for life. A job may be the starting point for the good life, but it shouldn’t be the end point’ (260).”

Rather than simply presenting the information to your audience, it is important to tie it to the purpose of your essay and the point you’re trying to make overall. The works of others may bode well for the point you’re trying to make within your essay, but failing to find a balance between quotes and commentary can detract from your argument. You want to present your opinion and fortify your argument with the research you gathered. Also, ending a paragraph with a quote is something you never want to do. Technically, everything following the example could be considered commentary.

We hope that our response was helpful!  If needed, we can offer further assistance at the Writing Support Studio , which is located in the LAC of the Bradner Library.

Best Wishes,

The Writing Support Studio