Citation: Degrees of Quotation (Joseph Bizup)

Following on ideas from Jess, Paul, Graham, and Beth in reaction to our Assessment pages, I’ve been returning to two ideas from Joe Bizup, Director of the Writing Program and Associate Professor in English at Boston University. These might be useful for a future metagogy session.

Firstly, he offers a way to think beyond primary/secondary/tertiary sources (literary texts, criticism, reference works) that accounts for the different ways we might read a text for different purposes: Foucault’s History of Sexuality could be a primary or secondary source, depending on the argument we’re trying to make. For Bizup, the acronym BEAM helps: Background, Evidence, Argument, Method. His essay explores ways writers can think about the purposes behind their use of sources, rather than thinking of sources as intrinsically primary/secondary/tertiary etc.

Secondly, his 1-page handout on ‘Degrees of Quotation’ displays the ways we might attribute authority – and so change the ways we claim authority when reacting to ideas in a text. He takes students through block quotes to paraphrase, and everything in between. See an exercise based on it here. Link to download handout: here.

Both these resources are up in the Shared Texts and Shared Links section of the Wiki (English Department).

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