When literature students are still at SAT or GCSE level, they’ll generally only need to worry about quoting from the set novel, play, or book of poetry. However, one of the changes that comes with moving to KS5 English literature is needing to consider the wider critical context of the work. In other words, it becomes necessary to quote established scholars and critics as a way to support points and build an argument.
Using these quotes properly isn’t just necessary for helping students achieve the highest marks – it’s also a vital skill for students planning to move onto an undergraduate degree in literature. With that in mind, here are just a few ways to help them develop a knack for it.
Use Teaching Packs
If you want your students to be able to use critical quotes throughout their coursework and exams, you need to show them where such quotes can be found. There are numerous sources, but teaching packs are probably one of your best options. They’ll contain key quotes that cover various themes, characters, and plot points. Just make sure your students don’t simply adopt those ideas and present them as their own.
Encourage Outside Reading
KS5 English students are usually interested enough in reading to pick up a few books outside of class without being prompted by a teacher, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t nudge them in the right direction. Recommend related books, preferably those written by the author you’re studying, and make sure they pick up an edition with an introduction. Introductions are a treasure-trove of critical opinions.
Teach the Right Time
One of the hardest things about learning to use scholarly quotes is knowing where and when they are best utilized. Make sure your students understand that these quotes are used as supporting points – it’s common for students to think that simply transferring passages from a critic’s work to their own papers is perfectly acceptable. Remember, they shouldn’t use quotes to make a point. They should use them to support a point of their own.