Famous Quotes and Paraphrases

Famous Quotes and Paraphrases

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Begin a lesson on quoting and paraphrasing by writing the beginning of a famous movie quote on the board: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a—“ At least one student will usually be able to finish the quote correctly: “damn.” The usually generates laughter and then discussion of the context of the quote: character Rhett Butler is saying good-bye to his long-time unrequited love Scarlett O’Hara in the movie “Gone with the Wind,” which is set during the American Civil War. This also serves as a very brief U.S. history/movie history lesson. Students then can discuss an appropriate paraphrase of the quote: e.g., Rhett told Scarlett that he didn’t care about her. The teacher can then point out the differences between the quote and paraphrase: use of quotation marks, change in vocabulary and grammatical structure, and so forth.It should be pointed out that in either case the original source must be cited.

 

This may then be followed up with handing out strips of paper with either a famous quote or a paraphrase to each student and the students must go around the class and find their matching quote/paraphrase. In academic writing, students are required to support their positions by citing expert sources. Often they lack the technical skill, however, in quoting and/or paraphrasing a source, so it becomes necessary to devote at least some time to teaching that skill. This method teaches them to the ways to the difference between paraphrasing and quoting and how to change a direct quote into a paraphrase.