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Library DIY

I Need Help with Quoting and Paraphrasing

Any time you include information that isn't yours in a paper, presentation, speech, or other project, you are using research. When you use research, you will use it in the form of paraphrasing or quotation. Quoting and paraphrasing add expert support to your essays and research papers and begin to build your credibility as a scholar.

Quoting and Paraphrasing

  • Quotation is needed when you want to use the exact words from a source. You will need to put quotation marks around the words that are not your own and cite where they came from.
    • Writing in MLA Style often involves using direct quotations from sources.
    • Writing in APA Style relies more heavily on paraphrasing and uses direct quotations less frequently.
  • Paraphrasing is when you state the ideas from another source in your own words. Even when you use your own words, if the ideas or facts came from other sources, you need to cite where they came from.
    • Paraphrasing requires you to write the ideas in your own words. Simply changing a few words from the original source or restating the information using the same sentence structure but with some different words are still considered forms of plagiarism.
    • After reading information, one approach to paraphrasing is to rewrite the ideas based on your own understanding without referring to the original source.
    • If you can't express the ideas in your own words, then you will need to use a direct quotation or leave that information out of your project.
  • Including your own ideas is important. Ideally papers will contain a good balance of direct quotations, paraphrasing, and your own thoughts. Relying too much on quotations and paraphrasing can make it seem like you are only using the work of others and are not doing any original thinking on the topic.

Videos that Explain the Processes of Quoting and Paraphrasing

For More Help with APA Quotations and Paraphrasing

For More Help with MLA Quotations and Paraphrasing

  • The most current MLA Handbook of format, style, and citation is the 9th Edition, which was published in April 2021.
  • General principles from the videos already listed on this page apply to both MLA and APA style.
  • The MLA Style website has a page on Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty which includes basic information about paraphrasing and quoting under the Giving Credit sections.
  • The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University (2017) offers a video titled MLA Style: In-Text Citations, 8th Edition, 2016 which may be helpful. Because the 9th Edition of the MLA Handbook is so new, there are not many supporting resources available for it yet.

Don't Forget....

  • The Writing Center is available to assist you with academic writing.