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Quote, Paraphrase, or Summarize
In research papers, you should quote from a source when you:
- want the reputation of the author to lend authority and credibility to your point.
- find memorable or historically significant language.
- don't want the author's meaning to be lost or changed if you paraphrased or summarized.
- find the author's language so clear and concise you wouldn't be able to effectively make the same point in your own words.
You should summarize or paraphrase when you:
- can express in fewer words the main points of a source.
- want the ideas presented in the source, but not the specific language used to express it.
Steps to Quoting
Quote: Reproducing an author's words.
To quote, follow the steps below:
1. Select the
text to use in
2. Record it
exactly as it
appears in the original source.
3. Use ellipses (...) to mark spots where
you have left out words from the
4. Place quotation marks around the
4. Note the source and page number of
the quotation in a launch statement or
According to Lennie, "[...] I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why" (Steinbeck 14).
Examples of Paraphrasing
If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal
behaviorists (Davis 26).
Unacceptable Borrowing of Phrases
Davis observed that the existence of a signing ape unsettled linguists and startled animal
Unacceptable Borrowing of Structure
Davis observed that if the presence of a sign-language-using chimp was disturbing for scientists
studying language, it was also surprising to scientists studying animal behavior (26).
Davis observed both linguists and animal behaviorists were taken by surprise upon learning of an
ape’s ability to use sign language (26).
Plagiarism is a Serious Offense!
Steps To Summarizing
A summary is a brief statement of the main points of a source. To summarize, follow the steps below:
- Select a passage of text related
to your research.
- Read the selection until you
understand its main points.
- Write one or two sentences in your
own words that capture the
- Revise your summary so it
- Note the source & page number of
the summary in parentheses.
Steps To Paraphrasing
Paraphrasing is to reword someone's text or speech. To paraphrase:
- Read original text until you grasp
its meaning, & set it aside.
- From memory, write down the
main points or concepts.
- Make the text longer, shorter,
or change the sentence order.
- Replace keywords within the
sentences with synonyms or
phrases with similar meanings.
- Note the source and page number
of the paraphrase in a launch
statement or in parentheses.