Step 2:
Add Background:
Who, What, When, Where
General and Specific


                Transition into quote


          The Parson showed his love for his
 parishioners by making sure that they had
 the support of the church at critical times
 in their lives

When the members of his parish were in need,  even though

             Wide was his parish, with houses
             far asunder, yet he neglected not in
             rain or thunder, in sickness or in
             grief, to pay a call on the remotest,
             whether great or small, upon his
             feet and in his hand a stave
             (Carlsen 97).

Background and Context:
1. General Background: Give the who-what-when-where of the quote,
     so that the reader isn't dropped into the middle of an unknown
     situation and expected to understand an isolated quote.

2. Do not summarize the whole story up to that point. Give just the
     information that would be necessary to enable someone
     who has not read the story to understand the quote.

3. Do not summarize everything in your quote before you give the quote.
     The purpose of  the quote is to give evidence of the idea.
     Background is background, not quote summary.

4. Give only a general idea of the nature of the quote.

5. Immediate Background: Have a transitional phrase immediately
     before the quote (often beginning with "When…"), which gives the
     exact context of the quote,  telling exactly what is happening when
     the action in the quote is occurring.

6. For a smooth transition into the quote, make sure that the last words
     of the transitional phrase match grammatically and stylistically with
     the first words of the quote. If they don't, chop a few words off the
     beginning of the quote until the transition sounds good.

Click address to send an e-mail to

  © 2002  j r Andrews