Making Points: Connotations and Quotations



When you are making your points there are a number of things that you should remember to do in order to get a good grade:

·         Refer clearly back to the question

·         Use a linking phrase or connective, some examples are below

·         Use embedded quotations to support your point where possible

·         Use more than one quotation to support the points that you are making

·         Try to use quotations or references which are as short and precise as possible

·         Analyse the quotations by picking out the key words and discussing their connotations (or whatever the key feature is) and how this affects the audience

·         Do not just list the connotations or meanings of something, try and say what impression it creates of the Victorian Education system



Linking phrases and referring back to the question:

Here are some examples of linking phrases. Often these will come at the start of a paragraph or sentence to show how this paragraph or sentence links to or contrasts with what has gone before. There are also some examples of these linking phrases in use within sentences:


Joining Phrases

Contrasting Phrases

Concluding Phrases

In addition, Additionally,

In contrast, Contrastingly



On the other hand,





This is emphasised / reinforced




Additionally, the image of the soldier’s ‘ghastly suit of grey’ is used to …

Owen, moreover, uses words with the connotation of foolish superficiality to …

Furthermore, India is portrayed as …

Alvi also makes use of … to effectively insinuate that India is an exotic and mysterious country that is welcoming her home.

The use of … is another method that Frost uses to emphasise the impression that life is a brief, beautiful and fragile thing.

However, Frost’s most effective method of depicting the insignificance of our lives is …



Embedded quotations:

Below is an example of a paragraph that uses embedded quotations.


Alvi creates the impression that India is a beautifully exotic place the riches of which, like the ‘peacock’ whose feathers are being tattooed onto her hand, only become apparent upon closer inspection. The symbolic beauty of the ‘peacock’ is reinforced by the description of the tattoo as ‘icing’ which implies the luxuriousness of the decoration as well as the delicacy and artfulness of the ‘unknown’ tattooist. Finally, the long, soft vowels and soft sibilance in ‘shadow stitched kameez’ create an impression of exotic mystery. The gentle whispering of ‘shadow stitched’ call to mind the rustling of the garment in the breeze of the bazaar evocative of the smooth, welcoming feeling of warmth that pervades this poem.


Below is an example of a paragraph that does not do this, both make good points but notice how the first one flows much more smoothly than the second.


In ‘An Unknown Girl’ Alvi uses the words ‘peacock’ and ‘shadow stitched’ to create the impression that life in India is vibrant and exotic. The connotations of ‘peacock’ suggest the beautiful vitality of India, but also the idea that this beauty can only be discovered when one looks beyond the surface and digs deeper, in the same way that the true beauty of a peacock is only revealed once it spreads its feathers. Equally the phrase ‘shadow stitched kameez’ suggests an exotic and richly decorated fabric reminiscent of India’s rich beauty, a feeling which is emphasised by the soft sibilance and the long soft vowel sounds, especially the /ee/ in ‘kameez’ which intensify this impression of luxuriousness.