Claim, Quote, Comment! (CQC)

Why do we have to use quotes?
 Everything you write is an argument. Yes,
everything. No matter what you are writing,
you are claiming that your opinion is accurate
and what is on the paper is true.
 It is not enough to just have an opinion – you
need to be able to back up that opinion with
 This is true in English class, Science class,
Social Studies, and life in general!
“I know I have to use quotes, but I
don’t know how to do it!”
Things to remember…
 You can’t isolate quotes and just “hang
them out there”
 You must not leave the reader to fill in
the blanks!
 You need to explain why you have
chosen the quotes that you have chosen.
 To do this, you must successfully use the
CQC method…
First, you need a thesis statement:
Your thesis statement must clearly reflect
something that you are going to prove.
For example, say this was my assignment:
Write a paragraph in which you explain how the
author uses the exposition of “The Most Dangerous
Game” to establish mood.
My thesis could look something like:
The author establishes a sinister and tense mood
during the exposition of the story through the
character’s dialogue.
This is what I will prove
No “I”!
When writing anything (other than your
personal memoirs or a work of fiction) you must
use the formal third person voice.
This means you may not use “I”, “You”, “We” or
any other first or second person pronouns.
The only exception to this is if you are quoting
directly from another source.
NO 
I think the theme of “The Most Dangerous Game”
The theme of “The Most Dangerous Game” is…
NO 
You can see that the author show us …
Yes 
The reader can see that the author show his
I’ve got my thesis, now what?
Prove what your thesis statement says!
 How?
 CLAIM– make your point
 QUOTE—provide evidence that supports the point
you just made
 COMMENT– explain how the evidence you just
offered proves your claim. Answer the question:
so what?
CLAIM – make a statement!
Although we often think that the quotes or
examples we choose to back up our thoughts speak
for themselves, they usually don’t. We know what
we are thinking, but the reader doesn’t.
Your job is to provide the reader with context, a
frame of reference, for the evidence (quote) you
are going to provide. This should indicate who is
involved in the quote, why this happened, what is
going on in general, when this is all happening (in
terms of the story), and/or where this is all taking
To clarify: a “quote” is any word or words you take from a
piece of writing. It does NOT have to be dialogue.
Dialogue – The characters are speaking:
"The old charts call it `Ship-Trap Island,"' Whitney replied." A suggestive name,
isn't it? Sailors have a curious dread of the place. I don't know why. Some
Narration – The narrator is speaking:
Desperately he struck out with strong strokes after the receding lights of the yacht,
but he stopped before he had swum fifty feet. A certain coolheadedness had come to
him; it was not the first time he had been in a tight place.
Either of these is a Quote
Quote (continued)
When choosing a proper quote to support
your topic sentence (and this is ALL about
supporting the thesis), it is important to choose
A. Choose quotes that expand upon your main
point (the thesis) and allow for elaboration or
analysis (in other words, pick quotes about
which you have something to say.)
B. Avoid quotes that simply repeat what has
already been said.
 This is the most important part of the paragraph because it is
where your ideas come into play.
 This is where you explain to the reader why you think the quote
you have chosen supports your point—thus, proving it!
A. The comment portion must clearly explain the connections
that you see. Remember that the reader may not see this
connection—your job is to make it as clear as possible!
B. During the comment portion, be sure NOT to simply re-state
what the quote says. Also AVOID phrases like "this quote
shows,” “this proves that,” etc.
C. Give your reader the “SO WHAT?” What is the point of the
quote? You need to make this clear to the reader.
Example - BAD
The author establishes a sinister and tense
mood during the exposition of the story
through the character’s dialogue. Whitney
and Rainsford discuss the bad reputation of
the island. Whitney says, "The place has a
reputation--a bad one” (215). This quote
shows that the island is known for being bad.
Note how this quote only
repeats what you already
said. It does not actually
explain or analyze anything.
Example - GOOD:
The author establishes a sinister and tense mood
during the exposition of the story through the
character’s dialogue. When Rainsford and Whitney
discuss the island, the reader feels a growing sense
of tension. Whitney recounts a conversation he had
with the captain of the ship. The captain tells
Whitney, “This place has an evil name among
seafaring men” (215). Here, the author is showing
how even the captain, who is normally fearless, is
becoming nervous around the island.
This example actually does
explain how the “sinister”
and “tense” mood is
created. You’ve shown the
reader exactly what you
were talking about.
Now, it’s your turn…

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