What is the best option that shows the correct way to use the quote from Mencken: He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered.  It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds...

What is the best option that shows the correct way to use the quote from Mencken:

He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered.  It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights.

Which option shows the correct way to the quote in which, Mencken who is a writer and political reporter, describes Harding?

1.  Harding was known for his terrible use of English.  His writing was like dogs barking idiotically through endless nights.

2.  Harding was known for his terrible use of English.  According to H.L. Mencken, Harding's writing brought to mind "dogs barking idiotically through endless nights."

3.  Harding was known for his terrible use of English.  His writing brought to mind "dogs barking idioitically through endless nights."

4.  Harding was known for his terrible use of English.  According to H.L. Mencken, Harding's writing brought to mind dogs barking idiotically through endless nights.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

explain why the option selected is correct.

Asked on by marley112

1 Answer | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Of these four options, the best choice is Option 2.  It is the best option because it is the only one that both credits H. L. Mencken and puts quotation marks around the phrase, “dogs barking idiotically through endless nights.”

When we paraphrase someone else’s writing, it is necessary to acknowledge that the paraphrase comes from them.  If we do not do this, it may look as if we are trying to claim the ideas in the passage as our own.  Option 1 shows this problem.  If I were to write that passage, it would appear that the phrase about the dogs barking is my own phrase.  Option 3 is at least somewhat better because it puts the phrase in quotes.  If I were to write that passage, the quotation marks would show that I am not claiming that the phrase is my own.  However, this is still weaker than Option 2 because Option 3 leaves the reader to wonder where the phrase actually came from.

Option 2 and Option 4 are both good in that they credit Mencken for the idea that Harding’s writing reminded one of dogs barking endlessly.  However, Option 4 does not make it clear that the phrase “dogs barking idiotically through endless nights” is a direct quote.  If you are going to use a direct quote from a source that you are paraphrasing or summarizing, that quote needs to be in quotation marks so that it will be clear that you are taking it directly from the source.

Thus, we can see that Option 2 is the best option because it acknowledges that the idea is Mencken’s and because it makes clear that the phrase about the dogs is a direct quote.

Please refer to the links below for more information about paraphrasing  sources.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,928 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question