Quoting, Paraphrasing, &
Students will be able to identify the
differences between quotation,
paraphrase, and summary.
Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing are
writing techniques that allow you to use another
author’s work in your research.
Citing others’ works adds credibility to your work
and provides support for your ideas.
To get started, let’s read the following short
article found in the April 2006 issue of USA
Today Magazine on page 10.
Now let’s go through a few examples…..
You must use quotation marks if you are taking
something directly (word for word) from the
information source. Quotations must be attributed to
the original author.
From the article, you like the sentence that says
“However, body art is going mainstream and growing
in popularity, particularly among young people.”
So in your paper, you will incorporate that sentence.
The first paragraph of your research paper says:
Tattoos and body piercings are becoming more and more
commonplace. In fact, if you are standing on a city corner in
any city in the United States, you are likely to see a lot of
tattoos and body piercings on people walking by. According
to an article found in the USA Today Magazine, “…body art is
going mainstream and growing in popularity, especially
among young people.” (USA Today Magazine, April 2006,
Notice that quotation marks are used around the sentence
that was directly borrowed from the article and the reader
was told where the quote was found.
Paraphrasing means putting information from a source
into your own words. A paraphrase is generally the
same length or slightly shorter than the original source.
For this example, let’s try paraphrasing the following
Just 10 years ago, people in charge of hiring would
have placed resumes of people with visible tattoos
and body piercings in the discard pile. Today, that
policy has changed. A significant percentage of
younger generation employees have tattoos or other
body marks. (USA Today, April 2006, page 10)
Notice that you’ve put the thoughts from the original
snippet into your own words. Using the same words
and phrases and just rearranging them is plagiarism
and a serious offense.
Ten years ago, most job search authorities would have said
that tattoos would have eliminated you from possible
contention for a position. Times have changed. More than
one-third of the younger generation now sport tattoos.
This is direct plagiarism. The text in red has been taken
directly from the article.
Summarizing means to restate the main points of a
source in your own words. Again, you must cite the
source. When you summarize you condense the
information source into a few sentences.
For this example, let’s try summarizing the entire
article. Let’s look at it again.
This article quotes John A. Challenger, a chief executive officer
for an outsourcing firm, on his views about tattoos and other
body art. He believes that times have changed and that
companies will have to become more accepting of body art if
they want to hire young people. However, he recommends
that job seekers find out about a future employer’s
acceptance of body art when interviewing for a position. (USA
Today, April 2006, page 10)
Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing are all
important skills to use when writing research papers.
Using other people’s information provides support
and credibility to your research.
– Use quotation marks if you are copying word for word.
– Use paraphrasing to put the thoughts of the author into
your own words.
– Use a summary to describe the main points of an