The Crucible - Illustrating and Supporting Points

This GCSE English Literature quiz will test you on illustrating and supporting points in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. When you write about a text, your argument will be all the stronger if you are able to offer evidence for the points you make. When you refer specifically and accurately to evidence from a text, you make your writing much more persuasive. This useful, but complex, skill takes some practice and attention if you wish to quote accurately and elegantly from a text. This quiz is designed to test these vital literary skills. How well can you can identify the answers which have supported a point by referring to evidence from the text accurately and grammatically?

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Of course, when you write your own essays or exam answers, you’ll need to remember to follow up your quotation with an explanation, too!

How to use evidence to support a point:

The three primary methods of using evidence when writing about a text are firstly, by paraphrasing; secondly, by quoting single words or short phrases; and finally, by quoting longer sections of text. One of the easiest, and most neglected, methods is the paraphrase. Practise this skill, which is an essential aspect of good writing. When you paraphrase, you clearly demonstrate your knowledge of a text, even in the absence of direct quotation. This method is especially effective when you do not have the text to hand, such as during an exam.

Another effective method of using evidence from the text is by selecting single words or phrases to quote. If you wish to draw attention to language choice or to minor details in the text, this is the most useful method. It is worth practising using combinations of methods, for example by mixing paraphrase and a short quotation in the same sentence. Learning to be flexible in this way is preferable to writing long sentences full of multiple quotations. A sentence filled with multiple short quotations can be awkward and very difficult to read.

Finally, another correct way to use evidence is to quote a full sentence or more. If a short phrase will not make sense on its own, or you plan to discuss a longer quotation in detail, this is the method to use.

It’s important to remember that you should only use quotation marks around a single word if that word is unusual or significant in itself. An ordinary word, such as “coat” does not require quotation marks unless there is something especially significant about its use (for example, if “coat” were being used metaphorically, you might use quotation marks). Quotation marks are required whenever you use an exact phrase or sentence from the text.

Have a go at this quiz on the best way to use evidence from The Crucible. Remember, 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 The Crucible and then choose the answer which best uses evidence in support of a point.
  1. DANFORTH: In an ordinary crime, how does one defend the accused? One calls up witnesses to prove his innocence. But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an invisible crime, is it not? Therefore, who may possibly be witness to it? The witch and the victim. None other. Now we cannot hope the witch will accuse herself; granted?
    Be careful to quote accurately. "Proving innocence", for example, is not the same as "prove his innocence"
  2. PROCTOR: A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth!
    Remember to make a point about the quotation you are using. Often this point will be in a previous sentence, or perhaps in the sentence following the quote
  3. MRS. PUTNAM: This is no silly season, Rebecca. My Ruth is bewildered, Rebecca; she cannnot eat
    REBECCA: Perhaps she is not hungered yet
    Quote accurately and be sure that your own sentence makes sense and is grammatically correct
  4. ABIGAIL: She sends her spirit on me in church; she makes me laugh at prayer!
    PARRIS: She have often laughed at prayer!
    Remember to place the quotation marks around the entire phrase that appears in the text and in your own sentence
  5. REBECCA: Why, it is a lie, it is a lie!; how may I damn myself? I cannot, I cannot
    Remember to pay attention to the features of language and imagery in the text. Talking about these is a good method of using evidence too
  6. MARY WARREN: I'll not hang with you! I love God, I love God
    Pronouns can be a bit tricky when using quotations from the text. Here, the entire sentence, including the quotation, should refer to Mary, as well as John, in the third person. The use of "you" and "I" becomes grammatically incorrect here
  7. PROCTOR: To ask ownership is like you shall own the meeting house itself; the last meeting I were at you spoke so long on deeds and mortgages I thought it were an auction
    Quoting single words is effective in a list, and when the use of those particular words is important
  8. PROCTOR: I have confessed myself! Is there no good penitence but it be public? God does not need my name nailed upon the church! God sees my name; God knows how black my sins are! It is enough!
    Remember that paraphrase is a very useful way to refer to the text
  9. HALE: Let you counsel among yourselves; think on your village and what may have drawn from heaven such thundering wrath upon you all
    It is useful to practise different ways of making similar points
  10. MARY WARREN: When she come into the court I say to myself, I must not accuse this woman, for she sleep in ditches, and so very old and poor. But then - then she sit there, denying and denying, and I feel a misty coldness climbin' up my back, and the skin on my skull begin to creep, and I feel a clamp around my neck and I cannot breathe air; and then - (entranced) - I hear a voice, a screamin' voice, and it were my voice - and all at once I remembered everything she done to me!
    Sometimes, rather than quoting an entire sentence, it is possible to quote a part of the sentence, making it clear which section of the text you are discussing. Here the point depends on the length and style of sentence used

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