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Everyone says and is told to memorise quotes for the big English lit essays as it is a requirement, however, my teacher was showing us the mark scheme and it technically doesn't specify anywhere on using quotes and just says something along the lines of refer to parts of the book to show understanding. My teacher said this could be just describing like a key moment in the book and so could not using quotes be fine?
It's as simple as that. The deeper your analysis is- single word analysis, quotes, contextual thoughts- the more marks you're going to get.
While it might not be in the mark scheme, using exact quotes shows a more impressive and developed understanding of the texts, rather than just a basic understanding of the plot. I'd use quotes but not worry if you can't remember one, as long as you can talk in detail about something specific like symbolism what exam board is this for?