This GCSE English Literature quiz about William Shakespeare's Macbeth will help you practise using evidence to support points. You can make your writing much more persuasive by producing and correctly referencing evidence from the text. Quoting specific details or paraphrasing parts of the text will make your argument stronger. This is one of the most important, and sometimes difficult, skills you can develop in studying English literature. After you have used a quotation, remember that the next sentence should explain how the quotation supports your point.
You will have learned in class the three key methods you can use in order to support a point with evidence. These are: paraphrasing, quoting single words or short phrases, or quoting longer sections of text.
It is easy to overlook the importance of paraphrasing, but it is difficult to write about a text without mastering this skill! Paraphrasing shows that you know and understand a text and is often much more elegant than quoting lots of short phrases and single words. It is also more practical than quoting a very long passage.
Quoting a single word or short phrase is the best choice whenever you wish to draw attention to an author’s specific use of language. Short quotations are also useful when you have a complex point to make, in which case you might use a combination of methods. One example of such a combination would be if you paraphrase a longer section of the text, then quote a word or short phrase which combines with the paraphrase to support your point. Using a combination of techniques is tricky and requires practice, but will improve your writing.
The third method involves quoting a full sentence or more. This is the best method to use whenever you wish to discuss a longer quotation in close detail. It also works if a shorter quotation will not make sense in your sentence.
Accuracy is very important when using evidence from a text. You will need to use quotation marks whenever you use words directly taken from the text. There is one exception to this rule, however, which is the use of a single, ordinary word contained in the text. Ordinary words generally do not require quotation marks. For example, it is not necessary to quote “cup” unless the word is used in the text in an unusual or unexpected way. Except for these very ordinary words, all other exact quotations from the text do need to be placed within quotation marks.
See how you do with this quiz on the best way to use evidence from Macbeth. Remember, the purpose of this quiz is to test your ability to quote and to paraphrase, rather than to test your knowledge of the text. One helpful tip is that it might be easier to eliminate the incorrect answers first!