Fascinating Facts

 

Quoting More Than One Sentence

In the previous lesson, you learned how to quote a sentence from Fascinating Facts. It looks like this. (The quoted sentence has been highlighted).

According to Ruth Foster, the author of a popular book on geography, "Algeria is second in size only to Sudan on the African continent."

Question: Can you quote more than one sentence?

Sure! It looks like this. (Notice the quotation marks at the beginning and the end of the quoted sentences).

According to Ruth Foster, the author of a popular book on geography, "Algeria is second in size only to Sudan on the African continent. The French conquered northern Algeria in 1847 and despite fierce resistance, pushed southward until Algeria’s current boundaries were drawn in 1902."

How about a paragraph? Can you quote an entire paragraph?

You can . . . but you probably shouldn't. If you did, it would look like this:

According to Ruth Foster, the author of a popular book on geography, "Algeria is second in size only to Sudan on the African continent. The French conquered northern Algeria in 1847 and despite fierce resistance, pushed southward until Algeria’s current boundaries were drawn in 1902. Algeria did not gain independence from the French until July 5, 1962. It was a bloody and violent process, partly due to the large number of Europeans (the majority of French origin) who had come to settle there. This produced two economic classes, with the Europeans possessing the principal industrial, commercial, and agricultural enterprises. Although independent, there is still violent unrest in Algeria. Islamic fundamentalists have killed tourists and other foreigners in their attempt to control the country. Islam is the state religion, and Arabic is the national language. The Sahara is the world’s largest desert, and it covers 80% of Algeria."

How about a chapter? Can you quote an entire chapter?

Now you're being ridiculous.

Here's the thing: There's a difference between "Can I legally do something" and "Is it a good idea." Legally, you're allowed to quote large chunks of text, as long as you cite them properly. (Citing means to attribute the text to the author in the proper manner). But your reader may feel differently. Your reader might not appreciate what you've done.

Would you really want to read a letter from a friend, in which your friend did nothing but quote several long paragraphs from a book? I don't think so.

Furthermore, as a teacher, whenever I read letters that consist mostly of words written by Ruth Foster, I think: This student is just being lazy. Why didn't they to summarize or paraphrase all this information?

That said, quoting one or two sentences is fine, as long as you do it properly. In fact, it's more than fine. Quoting a text is an important skill, and when I see that you've done it properly, I'm always pleased. (And needless to say, it's an easy way to earn points).

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the Questions.

Quiz