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Library DIY: Using Sources

Quoting Sources

Quoting is when you use someone else's exact words in your paper. When quoting, you want to make sure your reader knows it's a quote and knows exactly who said/wrote those words and where you found the quote.

 

 

Keep in mind that the formatting rules will vary based on what style you're writing your paper in - these examples are just to help you understand the process.  For more information on citation formatting, see our Citation Guide.

 

Introducing a quote

Before you include a quote, you want to communicate to your reader what you're quoting and why you're including this quote. This is usually accomplished with an introductory sentence or clause such as :

"Schiff (2013), in her literature review on restorative justice in schools argues that strategies like revising CRO assessment metrics can help plug the school-to-prison pipeline and lead to better schools. She indicates that the research as a whole has found that a restorative justice policy can “decrease suspensions, expulsions, and juvenile justice system entry, as well as engage youth in the school setting and improve school climate” (p. 13).  In this example, Schiff (2013), in her literature review on restorative justice in schools and (p. 13) indicates where the quote is coming from. And the section argues that strategies like revising CRO assessment metrics can help plug the school-to-prison pipeline and lead to better schools. indicates how the quote is related to the current paper."

 

Short quotes

 

Most short quotes (fewer than 40 words) can be incorporated directly into the body of your text. 

This image includes text that provides examples of how to cite quotation marks. APA: Isaiah Berlin (1953) once asserted, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” (p. 5).  APA general outline, introduce with Author name(s) and year. Page number at end of quotation. Commas and periods outside of quotation marks and after page number  Chicago: Isaiah Berlin once asserted, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”    Chicago general outline, introduce if appropriate with author’s name and other information. Superscript number indicating footnote is outside of quotation marks. Punctuation inside of quotation marks.  MLA: Isaiah Berlin once asserted, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” (5).   A popular essay divided thinkers into foxes and hedgehogs based on the premise that “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” (Berlin 5).  MLA general outline introduce with author name and include parenthetical page number or introduce without author name and include parenthetical author name and page number at the end of quote. Periods and commas are outside quote after citation.

 

 

Long quotes

Because they take up so much space, longer quotes are usually only included if they are key to your paper and if you will be doing an analysis on the quoted text. 

Typically, you format your quote in a blockquote which means that the quote is physically separate on the page. Often this includes extra spacing before/after the quote, larger margins, and double spacing the text.

Because the formatting and introduction indicate to your reader that this is a quote, you do not need to put the text in quotation marks. Here is one example of what a blockquote might look like:

 

Example of a block quote from 1997 source, Collective Memory and History: How Abraham Lincoln Became a Symbol of Racial Equality

 

Paraphrasing Sources

Paraphrasing is often used when quoting is not necessary. The most difficult part of paraphrasing is ensuring that when you put something 'into your own words', they aren't too close to the original text. 

 

Original passage:

"Presumptive treatment reduced STI prevalence in the short term. One round of presumptive treatment was followed by significant STI declines in all groups 1 month later, similar to experience reported elsewhere. In Angeles, however, rapid turnover among some groups of sex workers quickly diluted the effect of one time PT. Frequent arrival of new sex workers into an area argues for incorporating PT and/or screening into routine sex worker services along with outreach efforts to reach new sex workers" (Wi et. al, 2006).

Bad Paraphrase:

A 2006 study showed that treatment was followed by significant declines in STI rates in all groups one month later, which is similar to what was reported in other places. Rapid turnover dilutes these effects, and frequent arrival of new sex workers means that screening and treatment should be routine. (Wi et. al, 2006).

Better Paraphrase:

A 2006 study warns that these efforts can only be effective to the extent that they become routine. Although initial screening and treatment have been shown to be effective in lowering STI rates among sex workers, a continuous influx of sex workers means that continuous outreach and screening efforts are necessary to maintain low STI rates (Wi et. al, 2006).

In addition to not using the same words, you also want to avoid using the exact same sentence structure. Notice how in the 'bad paraphrase', even though the author is using different words, each sentence means the same thing as the corresponding sentence in the original passage. 

 

Original passage:

 

“Redlining has become a subject of increasing public concern in recent years. Originally used to refer to areas delineated on a map in red crayon where bankers would refuse to lend, the term is now applied to lending practices that may be less overt, but that still arbitrarily discriminate against urban neighborhoods in favor of suburbs” (Taggart and Smith 91).

Bad paraphrase:

 

More people are concerned with redlining lately. Redlining originally meant areas that were marked with red crayon where bankers would refuse to lend, now it means lending practices that still arbitrability discriminate against urban neighborhood and favor wealthier suburbs (Taggart and Smith 91).

Better paraphrase:

 

Redlining refers to discriminatory practices that cause banks to be more likely to people in suburbs compared to people in urban neighborhoods. The name ‘redlining’ comes from the practice of marking certain neighborhoods in red crayon, today the crayons have gone away, but redlining practices still exist under a veneer of equal opportunity (Taggart and Smith 91).