Incorporate the following quotation into a sentence that says something insightful about the quotation. “It was a cold rain, but his body was hot all over, and the rain helped to cool him.”  

Integrating quotations into sentences is indeed an important aspect of any literary criticism. There are several ways to integrate quotations such as this one into sentences using different punctuation marks such as colons, commas, or dashes.

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One way to integrate a quotation into your writing is to integrate one part of the quotation at a time. For example, there are three clauses in the given quotation and so it perhaps makes good sense to write about each clause separately. We could say that:

The first clause, "It was a cold rain," is a simple, declarative clause which simply emphasizes the coldness of the rain.

The second clause in the quotation, "but his body was hot all over," suggests that the coldness of the rain was not, as we might expect, unpleasant, but rather it was pleasant because the man seems to have been uncomfortably hot. The third clause in the quotation, "and the rain helped to cool him," confirms that the coldness of the rain was welcomed by the man.

As you can see, in the examples above we have used commas either side of the quoted clauses so that those clauses become embedded clauses in our sentences. Using commas like this is one way to integrate quotations into your writing. We might also have used dashes instead of commas. For example:

The first clause—"It was a cold rain"—is a simple, declarative clause which simply emphasizes the coldness of the rain.

We might also exchange the dashes for parentheses:

The first clause ("It was a cold rain") is a simple, declarative clause which simply emphasizes the coldness of the rain.

Another way to integrate a quotation into your writing is to use a colon. In the following sentence, you can see an example of how we might do this:

The first clause is a simple declarative clause which simply emphasizes the coldness of the rain: "It was a cold rain."

As you can see, to use a colon to integrate a quotation, we have to put the quotation at the end of a sentence rather than in the middle of a sentence. Using colons too often to introduce quotations can be a little clunky, whereas using commas, dashes, or parenthesis tends to make your writing more fluent.

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