Use a Quotation!

Posted on April 6, 2015 by Lesley Arnold

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.
From “Two Tramps in Mudtime” by Robert Frost

I love this stanza from Frost’s poem! It is such a wonderful description of how the weather changes in the springtime here in New England. One minute you are enjoying the warmth of the sun and the next minute you are zipping up your coat as a chill wind brings a drop in temperature.

If you are an Oak Meadow student, you may have received a comment from me on an essay that says something like, “Next time use a quotation at the beginning or end of your essay that sums up or supports what you are writing about.” I like to encourage my students to look deeper into the world, think more about what is being written, and use lots of examples with good details!

Robert Frost encouraged his eldest daughter in a writing assignment when she was at Amherst College. She was struggling with how to write about a required reading book that she hadn’t liked reading. His advice to her was, in part, “Take it easy with the essay whatever you do. Write it as well as you can if you have to write it. Be as concrete as the law allows in it — concrete and experiential. Don’t let it scare you. Don’t strain.”images

A quote from what you’ve read can provide just the starting point or foundation you may need for an essay. Give it a try next time you write an essay or research report!

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