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My Mother Said I Never Should - Illustrating and Supporting Points
I brought you some cocoa.

My Mother Said I Never Should - Illustrating and Supporting Points

This GCSE English Literature quiz will challenge you on illustrating and supporting points in Charlotte Keatley's My Mother Said I Never Should. Being able to write a good essay about literature depends very much on how well you use evidence from the text. If you make a point but forget to back it up with a quotation or example from the text, your point will not be very persuasive. Using evidence will also show how well you know and understand the text. This essential skill does not come easily and will improve with practice over time. In addition to the ability to choose the most effective evidence, this skill also depends upon the ability to punctuate accurately and pay attention to detail.

This quiz is designed to test these important literary skills. Challenge yourself to identify the answers which have managed to use evidence correctly. Don’t forget, when you write your own essays, to follow up your quotation with an explanation, too!

How to use evidence to support a point:

There are three key methods of using evidence from a text: paraphrasing, quoting single words or short phrases, and quoting longer sections of text. Make sure that you are able to do each of these correctly. The easiest method is paraphrasing, which is to rephrase something in your own words. You should master the art of paraphrasing because it is an essential skill for good writing. By using your own words to paraphrase a section of text, you clearly demonstrate your knowledge. This skill also proves itself helpful in exam situations where you do not have the text available.

The second option is to use individual words or short phrases from the text to support the point you’ve made. Memorised short, relevant quotes from the text can be used this way to answer an exam question. If you wish to discuss language choice or minor details, this is the best method to use. Including quotations in essays takes some practice, and, as you improve, you can consider combining methods. For example, mixing paraphrase with short quotations in the same sentence is a flexible and effective technique to use. Practising such a combination of methods will help you to avoid writing awkwardly long sentences which are cluttered with multiple short quotations.

Finally, quoting a full sentence or more is the practical choice when a short phrase does not make sense or you are finding it difficult to incorporate a short quote grammatically. This is also the perfect method to use if you want to discuss the quotation in great detail.

Here is a useful tip to write stylishly: avoid quoting single, ordinary words just because they are used in the text. Sometimes people do this just to prove that they have read the text, but it really only shows that a word has been copied from one place to another. If the word is significant, then it should have quotation marks. For example, in My Mother Said I Never Should, the word “Mother” is significant when pointing out how formally Doris expects to be addressed. Usually such an ordinary word would not need quotation marks. With these exceptions in mind, remember that you must otherwise always use quotation marks whenever you use an exact phrase or sentence from the text.

Try this quiz on the best way to use evidence from My Mother Said I Never Should. The aim of this quiz is to test your ability to quote and to paraphrase; your knowledge of the text is not being tested here. One helpful tip is that it might be easier to eliminate the incorrect answers first!

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Read the text from My Mother Said I Never Should and then choose the answer which best uses evidence in support of a point. The right answer will also be grammatically correct.
1.
MARGARET: And I'm going to learn to type! Ken says it will be helpful if we need a second income. (As they shake the sheet.) Typing's far more useful than all those stupid school certificates. I'll get a proper job.
In referring to academic "qualifications" as "stupid" and housework as not a "proper job", Margaret rejects her mother's expectations for her
In referring to academic qualifications as "stupid" and housework as not a "proper job", Margaret rejects her mother's expectations for her
In referring to academic qualifications as "stupid" and housework as not a proper job, Margaret rejects her mother's expectations for her
In referring to academic qualifications as stupid and housework as not a "proper" job, Margaret rejects her mother's expectations for her
Be sure to place quotation marks around the exact words or phrases you are quoting
2.
MARGARET: You can come with me. To my secret, secret hide.
Margaret holds out her hand. Jackie takes it.
JACKIE: No. Not yet. Do you mind?
In the final scene in the Wasteground, Margaret invites Jackie to join her in death, her secret, secret hide
In the final scene in the Wasteground, Margaret invites Jackie to join her in death, her secret, secret "hide"
In the final scene in the Wasteground, Margaret invites Jackie to join her in death, her "secret, secret hide"
In the final scene in the Wasteground, Margaret invites Jackie to join her in death, her "secret, secret" hide
Try, when quoting from the text, to pick up on the most interesting phrases which demonstrate your point. In this case the following sentence could discuss what might be meant by "hide" and its relationship to the secret dens and hideouts of childhood
3.
MARGARET: It's funny, hearing "Mummy" in this place. You do a job, people treat you differently.
Margaret is struck by how "odd" it is to hear herself "called Mummy" in the workplace
Margaret is struck by how odd it is to hear herself called "Mummy" in the "workplace"
Margaret is struck by how odd it is to hear herself called Mummy in the workplace
Margaret is struck by how odd it is to hear herself called "Mummy" in the workplace
Often you can make a point about a single word
4.
DORIS: Mother! Come and look. Do I look different? I must look different, I feel as though I've swallowed a firework.
Doris is so excited and surprised by her engagement that she can only express her feelings by explaining that she feels as though she has swallowed a firework
Doris is so excited and surprised by her engagement that she can only express her feelings by explaining that she feels as though "I've swallowed a firework"
Doris is so excited and surprised by her engagement that she can only express her feelings by explaining that she "feels as though she has swallowed a firework"
Doris is so excited and surprised by her engagement that she can only express her feelings by explaining that she feels as though she has "swallowed a firework"
These can be tricky! Sometimes pronouns interfere with using quotations in a grammatical sentence. Be careful to quote accurately, but also try to make sure your own sentence is correct, too
5.
ROSIE: It's so lovely here, Doris. (Pause.) Ken phoned to say happy birthday. I asked him to put some flowers on Margaret's grave today.
At the end of the play, after surviving the shock of revelation, Rosie refers to her entire family by their first names, "Doris", "Ken" and "Margaret"
At the end of the play, after surviving the shock of revelation, Rosie refers to her entire family by their first names: Doris, Ken and Margaret
At the end of the play, after surviving the shock of revelation, Rosie refers to her entire family by their first names; "Doris", "Ken" and "Margaret" join "Jackie", as she has always known her own mother
All of the above
Remember that there are many correct ways to use evidence from texts. Here, the names can be placed in quotation marks because it is significant that Rosie no longer knows what she should call her family members, but, being ordinary first names, the quotation marks aren't essential either. Your choice!
6.
MARGARET: If you left a bit of butter on your plate, it was either Mother on at you about rationing, or Father would tell us again, how he started his business with a tin of boot polish, cleaning gentlemen's shoes on the steps of the Royal Exchange. What that had to do with butter, I really don't know.
Margaret remembers being "lectured" frequently as a child, complaining: "it was either Mother on at you about rationing, or Father would tell us again, how he started his business with a tin of boot polish"
Margaret remembers being lectured frequently as a child, complaining it was either Mother on at you about rationing, or Father would tell us again, how he started his business with a tin of boot polish
Margaret remembers being lectured frequently as a child, complaining: "it was either Mother "on at you about "rationing", or Father would tell us again, how he started his business "with a tin of boot polish"
Margaret remembers being lectured frequently as a child, complaining: "it was either Mother on at you about rationing, or Father would tell us again, how he started his business with a tin of boot polish"
Here a longer quotation is combined with some paraphrasing to make the point
7.
ROSIE: Why don't you go and get drunk, or whatever it is you lot do to show you're feeling something.
Rosie rejects her birth mother in the most cruel manner by referring to her as you lot
Rosie's complete and utter rejection of her birth mother is shown in her use of the phrase "you lot"
Rosie accuses Jackie of lacking feeling, telling her to go and get drunk or whatever
Rosie accuses Jackie of lacking "feeling", telling her to go and get drunk or whatever
Remember that whenever you use an exact phrase from the text, it will need quotation marks
8.
JACKIE: There. I even washed your red sock. Washed everything, don't want Mummy to think — (Holding back tears.) I've got to clear up, Rosie. — All these ashtrays, Sandra and Hugh last night, they never think about you, do they?
As she fusses over the ashtrays, Jackie struggles with two simultaneous roles: being a good mother and a good daughter worried about pleasing her own mother
Jackie struggles with being a "good mother" at the same time as proving herself to her own "Mummy"
Jackie feels as if she is still a "little girl" who needs her mother's approval
All of the above
Sometimes the most practical way of using evidence is by paraphrasing rather than quoting directly. Be careful of using quotation marks just to draw attention to phrases (such as the scare quotes around the phrase "little girl")
9.
JACKIE (angry): I'll go back! Yes I will, finish the degree, I won't fail both things!
Jackie feels like a failure at motherhood, but promises her mother that she will go back to college, rather than failing both things
Jackie feels like a failure at motherhood, but promises her mother that she will "go back" to college, rather than failing "both things"
Jackie feels like a "failure" at motherhood, but promises her mother that she will go back to college, rather than failing "both things"
Jackie feels like a failure at motherhood, but promises her mother that she will go back to college, rather than failing "both things"
It's important to make a point, rather than just quoting from the text. Here the point concerns Jackie's feelings of failure and determination to make a success of part of her life. You should follow up your point with some explanation or analysis
10.
DORIS: Margaret? I brought you some cocoa. (Sound of planes, distant.) Margaret? Are you asleep? . . . Dear? (Silence.) Well then. You'll just have to drink it cold in the morning.
The first time in the scene that Doris shows Margaret kindness, bringing her "cocoa" and calling her "dear", it is too late: Margaret is "asleep"
The first time in the scene that Doris shows Margaret kindness, bringing her cocoa and calling her "dear", it is too late: Margaret is asleep
The first time in the scene that Doris shows Margaret kindness, bringing her cocoa and calling her dear, it is too late: Margaret is asleep
The first time in the scene that Doris shows Margaret kindness, bringing her "cocoa" and calling her dear, it is too late: Margaret is asleep
Remember that ordinary words such as "cocoa" and "asleep" do not need to be placed in quotation marks unless they are being used in an unusual or especially interesting manner in the text
Author:  Sheri Smith

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