What About Quotation?

Mabbett has a good reminder for inexperienced researcher who is tempted to do quotation and finds it irresistibly the best way to support his or her argument. See what Mabbett says,

“… you should not want to quote something just because it is important, or even because it is well-expressed in a book. There is no need to quote anything, generally, unless you wish to discuss the actual sentences you quote (italic his). Two main cases of this are: (a) in primary sources, words which in themselves constitute evidence to be discussed, and (b) in secondary sources, words which are debatable (italic his) at points which matter to your argument, especially where you compare one author’s judgments with another’s." I.W. Mabbett, Writing History Essays: A Student’s Guide (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 69-70..

Oops! Am I not doing the same thing: a big chunk of quotation. Strictly speaking, I am doing note taking instead of writing an essay; thus it’s okay to do this here.



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