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An Inspector Calls - Illustrating and Supporting Points

This GCSE English Literature quiz about An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley gives you the chance to test your skills in using evidence from a text. When you make a point, you will want to strengthen it by pointing to some evidence.

How to use evidence to support a point:

There are three main ways to use evidence in support of a point when writing about a text: paraphrase, quoting single words or short phrases, and quoting longer sections of text. The first of these, paraphrasing, is often neglected. By writing in detail about a text, you demonstrate your knowledge even if you don’t use any quotes.

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If you wish to draw attention to a specific choice of language, however, you would be better choosing the second option, which is to quote single words or short phrases. Sometimes, a mix of paraphrase and quotation can be used in the same sentence. This is often better than dropping multiple quotes into a long, unwieldy sentence.

The final option is to quote a full sentence or two. This is the best choice when the full sentence is needed either because a phrase on its own won’t make sense or because you wish to discuss the longer quotation in close detail.

Examples

For example, you might wish to argue that Inspector Goole represents the conscience. To do so, you might:

  • Paraphrase: When Sheila suggests that the Inspector already knew the family’s guilty secrets, she hints that he understands their thoughts in a manner impossible to an ordinary person.
  • Short quote: Sheila begins to question Inspector Goole’s identity as an “ordinary police Inspector”.
  • Longer quotation: Sheila is shocked to realise that the Inspector seemed to arrive after her father’s selfish assertion that everyone is responsible only for themselves, asking Eric, “Is that when the Inspector came, just after Father said that?”

Test your skills on An Inspector Calls with these questions.

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Read the text from An Inspector Calls and then choose the answer which best uses evidence in support of a point. The right answer will also be grammatically correct.
  1. "You began to learn something. And now you've stopped. You're ready to go on in the same old way." - Sheila
    The evidence should clearly relate to the point being made
  2. "All the best! She's got a nasty temper sometimes — but she's not bad really. Good old Sheila!" - Eric
    Be careful not to attempt too many ideas and too many quotes in the same sentence!
  3. "When you marry, you'll be marrying at a very good time. Yes, a very good time — and soon it'll be an even better time. Last month, just because the miners came out on strike, there's a lot of wild talk about possible labour trouble in the near future. Don't worry. We've passed the worst of it." - Mr Birling
    Ensure that quotations are relevant and worth quoting in addition to supporting the point
  4. "You'll hear some people say that war's inevitable. And to that I say — fiddlesticks!" - Mr Birling
    It can be tricky to use evidence. Make the point clearly, add the evidence in support and remember to check that the sentence is grammatical
  5. "Your daughter isn't living on the moon. She's here in Brumley too." - The Inspector
    The correct answer makes a point and selects the most relevant quotation to use in support of the point
  6. "Nothing to do with you, Sheila. Run along." - Mr Birling
    The correct answer makes the point and follows it with the evidence in the same sentence
  7. "You seem to have made a great impression on this child, Inspector." - Mrs Birling
    Important and relevant quotations do not have to be long
  8. "No, he's giving us rope — so that we'll hang ourselves." - Sheila
    Using evidence does not always mean including a quotation. Sometimes a specific reference or paraphrase might be better
  9. "She was young and pretty and warm-hearted — and intensely grateful." - Gerald
    There are several ways to use evidence correctly! Variety keeps your writing interesting
  10. "She was giving herself ridiculous airs. She was claiming elaborate fine feelings and scruples that were simply absurd in a girl in her position." - Mrs Birling
    It is important to be clear about whose viewpoint is being expressed. In this case the point is being made about Mrs Birling's attitudes

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