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Technique #1: Paraphrasing + Citing your Source




Paraphrasing means re-writing what you've read in your own words. Then, add your own commentary to show reasons why you agree or disagree with what the author said. You should paraphrase WAY more than you quote.


The following example was taken from the Purdue Online Writing Lab.


The original passage:

Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.

A legitimate paraphrase:

In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).

An acceptable summary:

Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 46-47).

A plagiarized version:

Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of the final copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit the amount of source material copied while taking notes.

"Paraphrase: Write It In your Own Words." Purdue Online Writing Lab. Purdue University, 2010. Web. 29 Aug 2010. <http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/02/>.


Technique #2: Quoting + Citing your Source

Sometimes the author said it best, and the only way to get the point across is to quote word for word what he said. To show which words you quoted, use quotation marks (" ") around the text.

The following examples were taken from David Gardner's How to Avoid Plagiarism.

  • Example 1: Marking large quotations

If you are copying more than 2 lines of text they should be indented to show clearly the extent of the quotation. Here is an example:


When discussing the availability of video materials specifically for use by self-access learners, Gardner makes a distinction between teaching material and learning material.
There is a lot of good quality video teaching material but there is very little that can be described, as it stands, as good quality learning material. This is no surprise when we consider the goals of most of this video material, it was designed to be used by teachers in classrooms. What has typically turned quality teaching material into quality learning material is the teachers' input. If that material is made available for self-access learning without providing, in some way, the teachers' input to go with it, it will be of limited benefit to learners.
(Gardner 1994, p108)
This is not a distinction that should necessarily be restricted to the discussion of video materials but should be extended more widely to the discussion of the provision of self-access materials in general.
  • Example 2: Marking short quotations

´╗┐Include short quotations directly in the text but mark clearly where they begin and end with quotation marks. Here is an example:


When discussing the availability of video materials specifically for use by self-access learners, it has been suggested that it is the input of teachers which has "typically turned quality teaching material into quality learning material" (Gardner 1994, p108). This is a distinction that should be extended more widely to the discussion of the provision of self-access materials in general.Gardner, David. "Showing What is Copied." How to Avoid Plagiarism. N.p., 31 Aug 2006. Web. 29 Aug 2010. http://www4.caes.hku.hk/plagiarism/copying_1.htm.