Berthoud High School
The goal of this handout/worksheet is to provide you an opportunity to learn about and practice the art of integrating evidence from a text into your written response.
(“The Odyssey” Example)
1. Top piece of bread: Quote introduction
Start with a topic sentence (what the paragraph is about). Then write a quote introduction. In the introduction to a quote, the writer provides some context and background for the quote. It should tell: who says the quote and what the CONTEXT is (i.e. what is happening in the story at the time quote is said).
2. The meat: Quote
Once the quote has been introduced, it's time to give the actual quote itself. When we are quoting directly from the text (“direct quote”), we must use proper punctuation, especially quotation marks. We must also include the page number where the quote is taken from. We put the page number in parentheses at the end of the quote.
We must ALWAYS “connect” the quote with our own writing (either lead into the quote or out of it with your own words). This is sometimes called an “author tag.”
Example author tag (intro): Homer writes that, “No words were lost on Hermes the Wayfinder”
Example author tag (outro): “No words were lost on Hermes the Wayfinder,” writes Homer…
NEVER simply plop down a quote in the middle of a paragraph without connecting it to your writing (we call that a “quote bomb”).
3. Bottom piece of bread: Significance of quote to your topic sentence and/or thesis
To be sure the meaning of your quote is clear, it is often a good idea to paraphrase the quote. Then, explain how the quote supports the point you are making in response (if you are writing just a paragraph, show how the quote supports the idea laid out in your topic sentence. If you are writing an essay, you ought to show how the quote supports both your topic sentence and your thesis statement).
This is called analysis.
This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of process! You must explain to your read how the “evidence” supports your thesis. (“Connect the dots.”)
Don’t forget to end the paragraph with a solid concluding statement to finish the paragraph.
Example for “The Odyssey”
Example prompt: At the beginning of Book 5, Homer includes a great deal of imagery that appeals to the senses when describing Calypso’s island. Why do you think Homer includes these sensory details?
Topic sentence: Homer uses many sensory details in describing the island to help explain why Odysseus was willing to remain Calypso’s captive.
Context: The audience learns about just how wonderful the island is when Hermes arrives to deliver a message