Understanding Direct And Indirect Quotations

In writing, there are many techniques and tools that a writer can use to strength, emphasis and enhance their writing technique, in order to use these techniques in an effective manner, one should know what they are exactly. Adding statements and sayings by other people in your writing is a common and elegant way of making your work sound more robust or to make it more understandable for the reader. There are two ways in which one can add quotations to their writing; you can either directly add them to your work or indirectly, both ways have their own plus points and their own impact.

When quoting someone directly, you are basically taking what they said word to word and are placing it into your writing, the proper way to do this is to offset the statement in quotation marks in order to highlight its nature. A direct quote can be from someone’s writing or from something that someone said, a well-used direct quote can help you strengthen your argument by serving as a fact or as an example.

To keep the impact of quotes in your work, you should make sure to not over use them, direct quotes can make your writing much more fun to read, however, if used to frequently then your work just might lose originality.

Indirect quotes pretty much serve the same purpose as direct quotes, however, the way in which you add them into your work is a bit different, to start off; indirect quotes are not a word to word copy of what the original writer or speaker said. Indirect quotes are more like summarizations of what the statement meant or implied that has been written in your own wording, and since indirect quotes are not duplicates of what someone said or wrote, you do not need to offset the writing in quotation marks.

A basic example of a direct quotation and an indirect quotation:

Direct Quotation: Martin Luther King once said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Indirect Quotation: In his well-known speech, Martin Luther King said that he had a dream that someday his children could live in a nation where they were judged by their character rather than the colour of their skin.

The examples above show the differences and the similarities between the two quoting techniques, as you can see, the basic message is the same in both the examples, however, the way in which it has been presented to the reader is different. If you have ever wondered that what does using indirect quotations allow a writer to do? The answer to the question is that it allows one to be more flexible with how they want to add someone else’s ideas into their own work and it also reduces the chances of their work being marked for plagiarism.

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Differentiating Between Metaphors And Similes

Metaphors and similes have a lot in common, so much in fact that it is really easy to confuse one for the other when using them, there are a few subtle differences that make the two different that one should know if they want to make the most out of these figures of speech. The best way to tell the difference between metaphor and simile is to first understand what the two are supposed to do, once you understand their concept you should not have a hard time in understanding their application.

Metaphors and similes are meant to attach a symbolic meaning or comparison of one thig with another, they both are made to serve a poetic purpose and add more feeling to how you can describe someone or something in your writing. We use these figures of speech quite commonly, like when coming back from work one might say that, “The office was like a warzone today.” Now, it goes without saying that the office could not really have been a warzone, but this sentence does help in effectively conveying just how chaotic was the office today.

You might be wondering now that whether the example given above was of a simile or of a metaphor, this example shows the use of a simile, how we know this is because of the use of the word “like” to make the connection between the office and the warzone. Similes are a lot more direct than metaphors, when a simile is used, explicit words such as “like” or “as” are used to make the comparison more direct.

Metaphors, on the other hand, are a lot more subtle and sound more poetic as well, just like similes they make symbolic associations of one thing with another in order to add color to a sentence. However, they do not make use of explicit wordings, this allows them to sound more mysterious and more poetic than a simile.

The use for both of these figures of speech is quite similar, however, depending on whether you use a simile or a metaphor, your sentence’s overall feel would be effected as well. For example, if instead of saying, “The office was like a warzone today.” you could make this statement sound more poetic by saying, “The office is a warzone.” in both cases, the sentence is implying that for some reason or the other, the office has a pretty chaotic environment.

Notice how the symbolic attachment makes understanding the basic idea of the statement easier, along with adding a bit of flare to your sentences, similes and metaphors can also help in making it easier to deliver your meaning to the receiver. You can use them to make your writing more lively or to make delivering your ideas easier, they can be especially useful if you are trying to explain something that the reader might find to be abstract or if it is something to which they might have a hard time relating to.

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How to Properly Use Parentheses

Parentheses are extremely common in English writing, for those of us who do not what a parentheses is, it is what we call the curvy () brackets that we use to highlight certain material in our writing. A single bracket is called a parenthesis, but since these punctuation marks always come in pairs they are mostly referred to with their plural name; parentheses. Parentheses are used when one has to set off material that is not essential to the main topic but is still related to it, for example, when an abbreviation of a term might be parenthesized next to the term itself. Similarly, afterthoughts, comments or jokes can also be parenthesized.

Even though parentheses are pretty common, many people have trouble using them along with commas, there is a common confusion about whether there should be a comma before or after parentheses. The answer to this question depends on how and where the parentheses is being used, however, it is generally accepted that one should never place a comma before starting a parentheses.

For Example:

Instead of: After twisting his ankle, (and letting out a high pitched yelp) Jonny kept on insisting that he was perfectly fine.

Use: After twisting his ankle (and letting out a high pitched yelp), Jonny kept on insisting that he was perfectly fine.

You should keep in mind that placing a comma after using parentheses is not compulsory, it only needs to be done if a comma is as essential part of the sentence even without the parentheses present, like in the above examples, the sentence being used would need a comma to be properly joined since it consists of a dependent and an independent clause.

When using a parentheses in a sentence that consists if only one clause you can add in a parentheses without having to insert any commas at all. Another thing to note is that when commas are being used with parentheses, the rules that apply to the commas in the sentence will not apply to any commas that might be present within the parentheses. A sentence or phrase that has been parenthesized will be considered as a separate entity with its own rules and their own punctuation marks.

For Example:

Take the essential ingredients (butter, flour, and sugar) for the initial preparation.

In this sentence, the sentence outside of the parentheses does not need any commas, however the sentence inside the parentheses needs commas since it forms a series, without the commas the parentheses sentence would not make sense.

Once the initial preparation is done (at long last!,) you can begin prepping your oven.

Once the initial preparation is done (at long last!), you can begin prepping your oven.

The first sentence shows the incorrect use of a comma where the comma (which was part of the outer sentence’s punctuation) has been included in the parentheses where it is not required. Properly placing a comma is essential since a comma can have a significant impact over the entire sentence’s structure and meaning.

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