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Silas Marner - Illustrating and Supporting Points

This GCSE English Literature quiz will challenge you on illustrating and supporting points in George Eliot's Silas Marner. If you wish to discuss and to argue about a text, you will need to rely on evidence. By referring specifically and accurately to evidence from a text, you strengthen the points upon which your argument relies. This is not the easiest of skills to learn, however. This quiz gives you the opportunity to test these skills. See how well you can spot the answers which have incorporated the evidence in support of a point accurately and grammatically. And don’t forget when writing essays 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 when writing about a text: the first is by paraphrasing, the second by quoting single words or short phrases, and the third is by quoting longer sections of text.

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Often neglected, paraphrasing is actually one of the easiest methods and is an essential skill. Paraphrasing clearly demonstrates your knowledge of a text, even though you don’t use a direct quotation.

One effective method of drawing attention to a specific choice of language is by quoting single words or short phrases. It can also be useful to mix paraphrase and quotation in the same sentence. This is almost always better than writing long sentences full of multiple quotations. Such sentences can be unwieldy and difficult to read.

The third, and final, possibility is to quote a full sentence or more. This is often the best choice when quoting a short phrase on its own makes no sense or because you would like to discuss the longer quotation in close detail.

Remember: if you are using a single word which is not especially significant in itself, you do not normally need to use quotation marks. If you are using an exact phrase or sentence from the text, remember to put quotation marks around it.

See how you do with this quiz on the best way to use evidence from George Eliot's Silas Marner.

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Read the text from Silas Marner and then choose the answer which best uses evidence in support of a point.
  1. "Was there not a drawer filled with the neat work of her hands, all unworn and untouched, just as she had arranged it fourteen years ago — just, but for one little dress, which had been made the burial-dress?"
    Paraphrasing is a good way of using evidence from the text, especially when the point being made relies on information rather than language choices or imagery
  2. "'At first, I'd a sort o' feeling come across me now and then,' he was saying in a subdued tone, 'as if you might be changed into the gold again.'"
    It is correct to place quotation marks around the word "again", because the point depends on Silas's use of this word
  3. "The heap of gold seemed to glow and get larger beneath his agitated gaze."
    Don't forget to use quotation marks around specific phrases taken from the text
  4. "At first there was a little peevish cry of 'mammy', and an effort to regain the pillowing arm and bosom; but mammy's ear was deaf, and the pillow seemed to be slipping away backwards."
    Remember to keep your sentence grammatical when you use a quotation. Sometimes this can be a challenge! Also remember to make a point rather than merely explaining what part of a text means (as in the first answer here)
  5. "But about the Christmas of that fifteenth year, a second great change came over Marner's life, and his history became blent in a singular manner with that of his neighbours"
    Quotations should always be accurate
  6. "Dunstan's own recent difficulty in making his way suggested to him that the weaver had perhaps gone outside his cottage to fetch in fuel, or for some such brief purpose, and had slipped into the Stone-pit."
    There are many ways to quote or paraphrase a text in order to support your argument or an individual point. Practise the various possibilities in order to improve your skills
  7. "Aaron was not indisposed to display his talents, even to an ogre, under protecting circumstances."
    When the use of a single word is significant in itself, that word should be enclosed in quotation marks
  8. "He was so undivided in his aims that he seemed like a man of firmness."
    Avoid littering sentences with multiple quotations (and remember to quote only exact words and phrases!)
  9. "Instead of a man who had more cunning than honest folks could come by, and, what was worse, had not the inclination to use that cunning in a neighbourly way, it was now apparent that Silas had not cunning enough to keep his own."
    Be careful only to quote what is relevant and to use the quote in the correct context
  10. "Such colloquies have occupied many a pair of pale-faced weavers, whose unnurtured souls have been like young winged things, fluttering forsaken in the twilight."
    It's important not to try to say too much in one sentence. This sentence could be followed by another one which discusses the significance of comparing the young weavers to creatures, such as bats or moths, which fly at twilight

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