CSQT Structure

Adding Textual Evidence in Your Writing

When should I use C.S.Q.T format?

Whenever the question asks you to refer back to the text, such as...

  • "Use evidence from the text to support your answer."
  • "Use textual evidence to support your reasoning."
  • "Use specific examples from the text."
  • "Be specific."

Sample Question Prompt:

In "Mother to Son" and Speech to the Young: Speech to the Progress," what attitude toward life's obstacles do the speakers in the poems share? Use examples from each poem to support your answer.

C=Claim

  • It is the first portion of your response.

  • This sentence reveals your answer to the question for your reader.

  • Or: This sentence states the position you are going to support with evidence.

  • It is one sentence in length.

Sample Question Response: CLAIM

In both poems, the speaker suggests that young people can and must overcome life's obstacles.

S=SET-UP

It is the second portion of your response.

This section will explain the context of the quote you will use to support your claim:

It will either state:

  • 1. the title of the text where the quote is taken from
  • 2. the author of the text where the quote is taken from

It can be part of the second sentence of your response. It is not always a full sentence.

How to Punctuate Titles

Titles are punctuated according to the length of the work.

SHORT: If a work is shorter in length, then it is set in “quotation marks.”

  • Ex: short story, poem, essay, article, chapter, episode, commercial, song, etc.


LONG; If a work is longer in length, then it is italicized.

  • •Ex: novel, epic poem, anthology, movie, tv show, play, magazine, newspaper, cd album, etc.

Sample Question Response: SET-UP

In "Mother to Son," the speaker hints at the obstacles she has faced and explains how with perseverance, she overcomes those challenges.

"Speech to the Young" expresses the attitude that obstacles will always exist and that young people must try to overcome them.

Q=Quote

It is the third portion of your response.

This sentence will introduce the quote with a speaker’s tag. The purpose of the quote is to support your claim.

If you are quoting the written word, then write the following.
•Langton Hughes writes, “QUOTE” (Hughes1).

If you are quoting the spoken word, then write the following.
•Langton Huges said, “QUOTE.”

Depending on the quote you select, it may be more than one sentence.

Sample Question Response: QUOTE

In Hughes poem, the mother says, “Don't you sit down on the steps/'Cause you find it's kinder hard. Don't you fall now--For I'se still goin/, honey.”

Brooks writes," Say to (the negative people), "Even if you are not ready for day/ it cannot always be night."

T=Tie-In

•It is the fourth portion of your response.

•These sentences will tie your quote in to your claim, so your reader will understand why you selected this quote in particular.

•This is where you analyze and explain your quote.

•You should have at least two sentences of analysis/explanation.

Sample Question Response: TIE-IN

In the first quote, the speaker says that life can be difficult and confusing, but it's important to keep moving.

Sample Question Prompt

In "Mother to Son" and Speech to the Young: Speech to the Progress," what attitude toward life's obstacles do the speakers in the poems share? Use examples from each poem to support your answer.

Sample C.S.Q.T. Question Response

In both poems, the speakers suggest that people can and must overcome life's obstacles. In "Mother to Son,"by Langston Hughes, the speaker hints at the obstacles she has faced and explains how with perseverance, she overcame those challenges. The mother says, “Don't you sit down on the steps/'Cause you find it's kinder hard. Don't you fall now--For I'se still goin', honey.” She is telling her son not to give up. Then in "Speech to the Young," Gwendolyn Brooks tells young people that obstacles will always exist and that they must try to overcome them. Brooks writes," Say to (the negative people), "Even if you are not ready for day/ it cannot always be night." She thinks that young people should not listen to those who would try to make them think that life's obstacles are impossible to overcome. Success (Day) will come eventually if they don't give up. Both poems are giving advice to young people and encouraging them not to give up when they are facing trials.