Striving to establish her own perspective on the poem, to say something original rather than simply reporting what other scholars have said, Rebekah works to keep her own voice dominant in the essay. While she incorporates paraphrase, summary, and quotes from her secondary sources, she is careful that the majority of the essay’s words are her own and that she does not allow the critics to speak for her. To clarify whose ideas are whose, she employs tag words and phrases, such as “according to,” “Smith argues,” “Smith claims,” and “contrary to Smith’s position on this point, Jones argues….” These tag words guide Rebekah’s readers through the variety of perspectives to a clear view of Rebekah’s argument. Further, she is careful to cite all references within the paper and to include a bibliography at the end of the essay listing every source she has mentioned in the paper.
It is important to note that because Rebekah’s subject is the poem, she must draw from the poem itself for her primary evidence. Thus, quoting from the primary text is not only helpful, but necessary. While she works to control the discussion with her own voice, she enriches the texture of the essay by pulling in important lines of the poem at key moments in her argument. Not only do they serve to support her major points, but they also generate a poetic quality in the essay itself, bringing the poem to life for readers.