Well, Dr. Jimbo Says …

When you use a quote in an academic paper, all you’ve done is prove that some person said something.

If you’re using that quote to give background on a debate, or to highlight one perspective in a debate, then proving someone said something is sufficient. But, if you’re actually using the quote as evidence in your argument, then that’s not nearly enough. You have to prove that they’re actually right. That means presenting their justification for the point.

As Dr. Jim McJimerson writes in his thesis, “On Writing Papers and Such”,

When you use a quote in an academic paper, all you’ve done is prove that some person said something.

I think that proves my point.

2 thoughts on “Well, Dr. Jimbo Says …

  1. michael lee Post author

    Yes, very true.

    Let me add to this, if you quote someone who does bad research, and you don’t point it out and qualify their quote, it means you’re now guilty of their crime.

    It’s called the transitive property of crap scholarship.

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