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Research Guides

Quoting

What is it?

  • Using the exact words from a source and putting those words in quotation marks.  

Why choose to quote?

  • The original language is necessary for the reader to understand your argument or claim.
    • The authority of the author is important.
    • You are showing disagreement with the author's statement.
    • You are showing how words from the original can be open to interpretation.
  • The original is nearly impossible to paraphrase?

Important:

  • Use sparingly.  Frequent and abundant direct quoting can show that you don't know what you're talking about.  Paraphrase when you can.  Quote only when it's absolutely vital.

Paraphrasing

What is it?

  • State what you read from your source in your own words.

Why choose to paraphrase?

  • Avoid plagiarism
  • Show understanding of your topic

Important:

  • Paraphrasing can be hard!  Try the following to help:

    • Take time to understand the passage as a whole.

    • Choose only the info that helps support your claim.

    • Think of what your own words would be.

    • Don’t change shared language.  (EX: velocity, gravity, acceleration)

  • Tip:
    • After you understand the passage, and you’ve determined what is important...

    • Look away, and write without looking at the original source. 

    • Compare with the original and tweak as needed.

Summarizing

What is it?

  • Explaining the main points from a source in a broad and general way, not detailed.  

Why choose to summarize?

  • Original language is not important or necessary to the argument.
  • No specific detail is needed, so no need to paraphrase.
  • Only need the main idea or broad overview of information from a source.

Important:

  • Be sure basic message isn't lost when summarizing.

Introducing Quotes & Explaining (Evidence & Reasoning)

‚ÄčIntroducing Quotes

  • X states, "[insert quotation here]"

  • As the foremost expert on [your topic] puts it, "[insert quotation here]."

  • According to X, "[insert quotation here]."

  • X himself/herself writes, "[insert quotation here]."

  • In her/his book, [name of book], X maintains that "[insert quotation here]."

  • Writing in the journal [name of journal], X maintains that "[insert quotation here]."

  • In X's view, "[insert quotation here]."

  • X agrees when he/she writes, "[insert quotation here]."

  • X disagrees when she/he writes, "[insert quotation here]."

  • X complicates matters further when he/she writes, "[insert quotation here]."

Explaining 

  • Basically, X is warning that [insert your explanation here].

  • In other words, X believes [insert your explanation here].

  • In making this comment, X urges us to [insert your explanation here].

  • X is corroborating the age old adage that [insert your explanation here].

  • X's point is that [insert your explanation here].

  • The essence of X's argument is that [insert your explanation here].

 

(adapted from They Say / I Say, 2nd ed.)