First, I must thank Kate Clancy for pointing me to First Year Comp, a great blog on writing. One of the posts I found discussed the use of quotations, especially big block quotations, versus paraphrasing. A quick survey of students showed that many do not read large quotation blocks in books. The rules for quotes:
- Do not quote anything you can paraphrase in 1 sentence
- A quote should "do" at least 2 things in your piece
I usually end up quoting based on the first point; I am unable to boil the thought down any further. Besides, it's so easy to cut-paste-link in a blog! Makes me wonder why any of us bother to do anything but quote online...
Then this post hit my twitterstream. Now, I could paraphrase these large block quotes in a sentence (Indiana representative links Girl Scouts to Planned Parenthood and left-wing subversion), but it just doesn't convey the actual sense of lunacy. One of the block quotes follows:
A Fort Wayne lawmaker has refused to sign on to a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, calling the group a "radicalized organization" that supports abortion and promotes the homosexual lifestyle.
Rep. Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne, sent a letter to his fellow House Republicans on Saturday explaining why he would be the only member in the House not to endorse the nonbinding resolution.
He said he did some web-based research and found allegations that the Girl Scouts are a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood, allows transgender females to join and encourages sex.
Morris also said the fact that First Lady Michelle Obama is honorary president "should give each of us reason to pause before our individual and collective endorsement of the organization."
So I guess we can add one more time to use the quote and not paraphrase:
- When the readers need to hear the exact words to believe it