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Quoting, Paraphrasing, & Summarizing Objective: 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….. Using Quotations 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, page 10). 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. Using Paraphrasing 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 section. Our Paraphrase 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. Direct Plagiarism 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 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. Our Summary 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) Summing Up 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 information source.
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