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Citing Sources: Quotation

Three ways to cite

There are three ways to cite a source:

  1. Summary: A brief description of longer passage written by the author.

  2. Paraphrase: A restatement of an idea in roughly the same length as the author originally described it.

  3. Quotation: The exact same words as the author used, presented between quotation marks.

Some tips on quotation

Citations should not mislead.
Avoid taking quotations out of context or paraphrasing in a way that obscures the author’s original intention.

Cite only sources you have actually read.
If you are reading Source A and it references a study in Source B, you should not cite Source B unless you find and read it. Instead, in the body of your paper mention that the original study came from Source B, but cite Source A. Citing sources you have not actually read misleads your readers to think you researched and read materials that you did not.

Do not over-quote to avoid summarizing or paraphrasing.
The Curious Researcher suggests that a research paper “contain no more than 10 or 20 percent quoted material” (Ballenger 129). A proper summary or paraphrase lets the reader know that you have understood and analyzed what you have read.

For more research tips on quotations, see:

Quotation: Example of original text

Parker, Alan Michael. Whale Man : A Novel. Seattle, WA: WordFarm, 2011. Print.

The dream of the whale filled him. Avi felt his body to be suffused, like a peach soaked with brandy, the smell and flavor of the dream more present than the corporeal self.

Examples of proper quotation and plagiarism of the original text

The quotation on the right, though it has a citation, would be considered plagiarism because it is not enclosed in quotation marks. This would mislead the reader to believe it is a paraphrase instead of a quotation.

Proper Quotation Plagiarism

 
“The dream of the whale filled him. Avi felt his body to be suffused, like a peach soaked with brandy, the smell and flavor of the dream more present than the corporeal self” (Parker 40).

The dream of the whale filled him. Avi felt his body to be suffused, like a peach soaked with brandy, the smell and flavor of the dream more present than the corporeal self (Parker 40).

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