Quoting and paraphrasing
One of the primary features of academic writing is using books, journal articles, websites, and other outside sources (“the literature”) to support your ideas. This requires you to read widely in order to seek out the different sides of a debate within a particular field of inquiry.
Your writing should demonstrate how and where you have drawn on the literature in support of your point. You must also ensure that your writing connects with the literature. The best assignments move fluidly between the outside evidence and your own interpretations, explanations, and evaluations of it. The sources are integrated within the assignment.
There are three main methods for incorporating the ideas and research of other authors into your document:
- Quoting: copying the source information word for word
- Paraphrasing: putting the source information into other words and phrases
- Summarising: creating a shortened version of the source information
Whenever you use an outside source – whether you have quoted it directly, paraphrased it, or summarised it – you must always do two things:
- connect it with the writing around it
- credit the original author
Crediting the original author is done by referencing: see introduction to referencing for more. It is important for a number of reasons.
Connecting it with your own writing is the focus of this section.