Jane Eyre - Illustrating and Supporting Points

This GCSE English Literature quiz sees how good you are at illustrating and supporting points in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Writing a good essay about literature depends very much on how well you can use evidence from the text. Making a point without backing it up with a quotation or example from the text is not very persuasive, and essays should always aim to persuade. Using evidence also demonstrates how carefully you read and how well you understand what you have read. When you refer specifically and accurately to evidence from a text, your writing becomes much more effective. This essential skill definitely requires practice; it does not necessarily come easily. In addition to the ability to select appropriate evidence, this skill also depends upon attention to details such as punctuation in order to get things right.

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This quiz is designed to test the vital literary skills involved in quoting evidence from a text in support of a point. Challenge yourself to identify the answers which have incorporated evidence accurately. In your own essays, always remember to follow up your quotation with an explanation, too!

How to use evidence to support a point:

There are three key methods of using evidence from a text: paraphrasing, quoting single words or short phrases, and quoting longer sections of text. You should aim to practise each of these methods. Paraphrasing is one of the easiest of these, but is often overlooked as a skill to practise. Try to master the art of paraphrasing because it is an essential aspect of good writing. When you use your own words in order to paraphrase a section of text, you clearly demonstrate your knowledge. This skill is also very useful in exam situations where you do not have the text to hand.

The second method is to quote individual words or short phrases from the text in support the point you wish to make. If you have memorised short, relevant quotes from the text, you can use them in this way to answer an exam question. Whenever you wish to discuss language choice or minor details in the text, this is the best method to use. Writing essays which use quotes from texts takes practice and, as you improve, you might like to consider combining methods. For example, mixing paraphrase with short quotations in the same sentence is a flexible and effective technique to use. Practising such a combination of methods will help you to avoid writing awkwardly long sentences crammed full of multiple short quotations.

The final method of using evidence is to quote a full sentence or more. Sometimes a short phrase does not make sense on its own or it seems too difficult to incorporate a short quote grammatically. When this is the case, this is the method to use. Quoting full sentences is also appropriate when you plan to discuss a longer quotation in detail.

A useful tip: avoid quoting single, ordinary words just because they are used in the text. For single words, quotation marks should only be used if the word itself is significant. A single ordinary word should only be placed inside quotation marks if there is something significant about its use. For example, the word “wife” is ordinary and you would not normally quote it as evidence; Rochester, however, uses the word with bitter emphasis, and in this case the word is not being used in an ordinary way. If quoting Rochester's use of the word "wife", you would want to use quotation marks. Otherwise, you must always use quotation marks whenever you use an exact phrase or sentence from the text.

Try this quiz on the best way to use evidence from Jane Eyre. The aim of this quiz is to test your ability to quote and to paraphrase; your knowledge of the text is not being tested here. One helpful tip is that it might be easier to eliminate the incorrect answers first!

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Read the text from Jane Eyre and then choose the answer which best uses evidence in support of a point. Remember that the answer will also need to be grammatically correct.
  1. "So I turned at the door: I saw a robed and veiled figure, so unlike my usual self that it seemed almost the image of a stranger"
    Here, using the phrase "instead seeing a stranger" helps to make the point of the sentence clear before quoting the evidence ("a robed and veiled figure")
  2. "Twenty thousand pounds shared equally, would be five thousand each, — enough and to spare: justice would be done, — mutual happiness secured. Now the wealth did not weigh on me: now it was not a mere bequest of coin, — it was a legacy of life, hope, enjoyment"
    This answer makes a point about Jane's view of her good fortune by presenting a quotation concerning life in contrast to Jane's impression of a lifeless coin
  3. "Helen she held a little longer than me: she let her go more reluctantly; it was Helen her eye followed to the door; it was for her she a second time breathed a sad sigh; for her she wiped a tear from her cheek"
    Remember that ordinary words such as "sigh" and "tear" do not need to be in quotation marks
  4. "But I'll shut up Thornfield Hall: I'll nail up the front door, and board the lower windows; I'll give Mrs Poole two hundred a year to live here with my wife, as you term that fearful hag"
    A correct answer could also refer to Brontë's use of italics to emphasise the words
  5. "When thus alone, I not unfrequently heard Grace Poole's laugh: the same peal, the same low, slow ha! ha! which, when first heard, had thrilled me: I heard, too, her eccentric murmurs; stranger than her laugh"
    The correct answer here uses paraphrase in combination with a short quotation. In an essay, the sentence could be followed by one discussing the idea, language choice, or function of the "eccentric murmurs" in further detail
  6. "'I like Thornfield; its antiquity; its retirement; its old crow-trees and thorn-trees; its grey façade, and lines of dark windows reflecting that metal welkin: and yet how long have I abhorred the very thought of it; shunned it like a great plague-house! How I do still abhor—' He ground his teeth and was silent"
    Remember to practise different techniques when using evidence in order to improve your skills
  7. "I envy you your peace of mind, your clean conscience, your unpolluted memory. Little girl, a memory without blot or contamination must be an exquisite treasure — an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment"
    Always be careful to quote accurately and grammatically
  8. "You shall not get it out of me to-night, sir; you must wait till to-morrow: to leave my tale half-told, will, you know, be a sort of security that I shall appear at your breakfast-table to finish it"
    It can be tricky to include quotations grammatically, but your writing will be more clear and easier to read if you take care with the details. Here the sentence which consistently uses the third-person is preferable to the two which switch between first ("my") and third (Jane). You could also make a good point about the reference to Scheherazade in Jane's words!
  9. "Had I been dreaming? Did I dream still? The old woman's voice had changed: her accent, her gesture, and all, were familiar to me as my own face in the glass — as the speech of my own tongue"
    Remember to use exact quotations. Here the final answer is incorrect because the exact quotation would be "the speech of my own tongue", rather than "her own tongue"
  10. "My rest might have been blissful enough, only a sad heart broke it. It plained of its gaping wounds, its inward bleeding, its riven chords"
    Quoting single words or short phrases as a list can be an effective way in which to use evidence from a text

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