This GCSE English Literature quiz about The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare gives you an opportunity to test your skills in using evidence in support of a point. When making a point about a text, you can strengthen your argument by quoting or referring explicitly to specific parts of the text. Having illustrated your point, don’t forget to follow up your quotation with an explanation, too!
There are three primary methods of using evidence in support of a point when writing about a text: by paraphrasing, by quoting single words or short phrases, or by quoting longer sections of text.
Paraphrasing is one of the most useful methods and is very often neglected. It is, however, an essential skill. Paraphrasing clearly demonstrates your knowledge of the text and can be more elegant than quoting multiple words or very long passages.
When you wish to draw attention to a specific language choice, the best option is often to quote single words or short phrases. Remember that it is also possible to mix paraphrase and quotation in the same sentence. This is almost always better than writing long unwieldy sentences full of multiple quotations.
The final possibility is to quote a full sentence or more. This choice can be best when the phrase on its own makes no sense or because you would like to discuss the longer quotation in close detail.
Remember: you do not normally need to use quotation marks if you are using a single word which is not especially significant in itself. If you are using an exact phrase or sentence from the text, however, remember to put quotation marks around it.
See how you do with this quiz on using evidence effectively from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.