How to Explain a Quote from Literature

In class, we have been working on explaining quotes in paragraph form. Here is our three-step process:

  1. Note the context. This is the “who-what-when-where-why-how” of the quote itself. Where does it appear? Who said it? What was happening in and around that scene? 1 sentence, including citation (page or act/scene/line number).
  2. Explain the quote. Use your own words to explain the words on the page, but don’t just re-quote the quote. 1-2 sentences.
  3. Connect the quote to main themes. Pick 1-2 themes in the larger book/poem/play and explain how the quote connects to those. 1-2 sentences.

See the worksheet for examples, and happy explaining!


About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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