Comprehending, Responding

SHORTENING QUOTATIONS so they are easier to memorise

When writing essays about novels, short stories, plays, expository texts etc in the Responding Section of your ATAR English exam, it’s NECESSARY provide quotations to support your arguments and ideas.

Ideally, you should probably choose about 10-15 quotations.

Make sure the ones you select can be used for a variety of topics  e.g. one quotation could be used for a discussion on character or idea or perspective.  This way, you don’t have to memorise loads of quotes!

Be picky / fussy / choosy about which parts of the quotation you need.

Here’s an example to show you what I mean 😊

In 1984 by George Orwell, the minor character Syme can be considered to represent how the citizens of Airstrip One have become desensitised to violence and lost their humanity.

Here’s a good quote that shows this:

“It was a good hanging,” said Syme reminiscently.  “I think it spoils it when they tie their feet together. I like to see them kicking. And above all, at the end, the tongue sticking right out, and blue - a quite bright blue. That’s the detail that appeals to me.”

BUT, this quote is very LOOOONG.  Personally, I could never remember 10 quotations if they were all this long!

SO BE CLEVER!  Use ellipses to show the marker that you have cut some words out as a way of shortening the quote.  BUT - and this is very important - don’t lose the MEANING of your quotation!

Here’s how we would shorten the quote above:

“It was a good hanging… I like to see them kicking… and the tongue sticking right out, and blue… That’s the detail that appeals to me.”

It's MUCH EASIER to remember and Syme’s attitude towards the public hangings is still clear.  Perfect!

So how exactly do you commit these quotations to memory?  Keep an eye out over the next week or two for some strategies 😊