Quoting and Paraphrasing

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Avoid Plagiarism (With Examples)

Are you looking to add some flair to your writing while learning about quoting and paraphrasing? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Quoting and paraphrasing are essential skills for any writer, helping to lend credibility and originality to your work. 

In this article, we’ll dive into the nuances of quoting and paraphrasing, exploring the proper usage of quotation marks, APA and MLA styles, and the importance of academic integrity. So, grab a cup of coffee and get ready to master the art of quoting and paraphrasing! You’ll soon be impressing your readers with your word wizardry. 

Let’s get started!

How to Quote and Paraphrase to Avoid Plagiarism

When writing a research paper, it’s crucial to quote and paraphrase properly to avoid plagiarism. Quoting and paraphrasing are essential techniques for supporting your points and persuading your readers. 

So, how can you effectively use quotes and paraphrases in your academic writing?

A quote is a direct restatement of the exact words from the original source. If you use three or more words exactly as they appeared in the source, it should be treated as a quote. On the other hand, a paraphrase is a restatement of the information or point from the original source in your own words.

Both quotes and paraphrases have a few things in common. 

  • Firstly, they should be introduced to the reader, especially the first time you mention a source. 
  • Secondly, you should include an explanation that highlights the importance of the evidence, especially if it’s not evident from the quote or paraphrase itself. Lastly, always remember to include a proper citation of the source.

The specific method you use for quoting or paraphrasing depends on the style guide you’re following, such as MLA or APA. Make sure to confirm with your instructor which style guide to use for your academic writing project.

While you may not be an expert on the topic of your research paper, you’ll likely rely on secondary sources like books, articles, and websites to inform and persuade your readers. 

Presenting this research through quotes and paraphrases adds credibility to your work and helps answer the reader’s question, “says who?” Remember to use quotes and paraphrases effectively, following the guidelines of your chosen style guide, to avoid any issues of plagiarism.

By using quotes and paraphrases correctly, you can enhance the quality of your research paper and ensure that you’re providing well-reasoned evidence to support your arguments.

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When to Quote or Paraphrase

Knowing when to quote and when to paraphrase is key to effective research writing. While there are style-specific guidelines to follow, such as those outlined by MLA or APA, ultimately, the decision depends on your specific context and desired effect. It takes practice and experience to determine the best times to quote and paraphrase.

In general, it’s best to use a quote when the exact words of your source are vital to your point. This is especially important when dealing with technical language, terms, or specific word choices. Quoting can also be useful when you want to emphasize your agreement or disagreement with the author’s words. By using direct quotes, you can precisely convey the exact point of contention.

On the other hand, paraphrasing is preferred when the author’s exact words are not essential to your point. If you can convey the evidence without relying on the specific wording, paraphrasing is often a better option. Paraphrasing is also beneficial when you need to explain or interpret a particular piece of evidence in more detail, especially in critique-style writing projects. Additionally, using paraphrases instead of quotes helps create balance in your writing, preventing an overuse of direct quotes that may undermine the flow and readability of your prose.

Here are some tips for effectively using quotes and paraphrases:

1. Introduce your quotes and paraphrases to your readers, particularly on first reference. Make it clear that the following words are from another source.

2. Explain the significance of the quote or paraphrase. Help your readers understand why you’ve included it and how it supports your point.

3. Properly cite your quote or paraphrase according to the style guidelines you are following in your essay. This shows academic integrity and avoids plagiarism.

4. Use quotes when the exact words are crucial, highlighting agreement or disagreement. Paraphrase when the exact words are not important, aiming to explain the point of your evidence or create a balance in your writing.

By mastering the art of quoting and paraphrasing, you can effectively integrate evidence into your research writing, supporting your ideas and maintaining a cohesive flow in your work.

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How to Paraphrase a Source

Paraphrasing a source involves restating the original text using your own words. It is an essential skill in academic writing as it allows you to present information in a way that is both accurate and unique to your perspective. Here are a few methods you can use to paraphrase effectively:

1. Understand the passage as a whole: Before attempting to paraphrase, it’s crucial to grasp the main ideas and concepts of the source. Rather than getting caught up in specific phrases or details, try to comprehend the overall message.

2. Be selective: Unless you are explicitly asked to provide a literal paraphrase, it is not necessary to rephrase the entire passage. Focus on summarizing and conveying the material that supports your argument or point in your paper.

3. Imagine explaining it to someone else: Visualize explaining the source’s content to someone who has no prior knowledge of the subject, such as a family member or friend. This will help you identify how you would naturally express the ideas in your own words.

4. Incorporate direct quotations strategically: When paraphrasing, you can include specific phrases directly from the original text. No need to alter or enclose shared language in quotation marks. This technique adds authenticity and credibility to your paraphrase.

5. Look away from the source and rewrite: After reading and comprehending the text, temporarily turn your attention away from the original. Use your understanding of the material to restate it in your own words. This method ensures that you rely on your own understanding rather than unintentionally copying the source.

6. Take notes: To aid in the paraphrasing process, take abbreviated notes while reading the source. Set these notes aside and revisit them after a day or two to paraphrase the information. This approach allows you to reflect on the material and provide a fresh interpretation.

Remember, if you find it challenging to follow either of these methods, it may indicate a lack of complete understanding of the passage. In such cases, you may need to employ a more structured approach or seek further assistance until you gain more experience in paraphrasing. The method described above not only helps you create a paraphrase but also aids in understanding complex texts.

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How to Quote a Source

When it comes to quoting a source in your writing, it’s important to guide your readers through the text instead of simply dropping quotations without context. To effectively integrate a quotation into your writing, two elements are essential:

1. A signal that indicates a quotation is coming. This typically includes the author’s name and/or a reference to the work.
2. An assertion that establishes the relationship between the quotation and your text.

To seamlessly connect the quotation to your writing, you can include a transitional phrase in the introductory statement. Here’s an example that demonstrates how to integrate a quotation:

According to Ross (1993), who studied poor and working-class mothers in London from 1870-1918, economic status played a significant role in defining the meaning of motherhood. Within this population, she notes, “Being a mother meant working hard to provide and manage the household’s subsistence.” (p. 9).

Alternatively, you can place the signal after the assertion with a connecting word or phrase:

In the nineteenth century, illness was rarely a routine matter.According to Ross, mothers’ concerns about their children’s health primarily focused on the potential for injury or fatality.” (p. 166).

Formatting Quotations:

  1. Short direct prose: To For example: include short direct prose quotations in your paper, simply enclose them in double quotation marks.

Jonathan Clarke argues that pondering diplomatically on foreign policy is often futile, according to professional diplomats.

2. Longer prose quotations: If the quotation is 40 words or more (APA style), begin it on a new line and indent the entire quotation, without using quotation marks. The formatting should appear as a block quote. Specific guidelines on block quotation length, indentation, and spacing may vary based on the documentation system you’re using, so be sure to check the appropriate guidelines.

3. Quotation of up to 3 lines of poetry: Integrate quotations of up to 3 lines of poetry into your sentence. Use a slash (/) with spaces on either side to separate lines. For example:

In Julius Caesar, Antony begins his famous speech with the lines, “Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears! I have come to lay Caesar to rest, not to speak highly of him” (III.ii.75-76).

  1. Quotation of more than 3 lines of poetry: Indent quotations of more than 3 lines of poetry. Avoid using quotation marks unless necessary to indicate a quotation within a quotation.

Punctuating with Quotation Marks:

  1. Parenthetical citations: For example: including short quotations, it is customary to position citations outside of closing quotation marks, followed by sentence punctuation.

According to Menand (2002), language can be seen as a powerful tool in society (p. 115).

2. Commas and periods: Place commas and periods inside closing quotation marks, unless a parenthetical citation follows. For example:

According to Hertzberg (2002), the idea of considering the Constitution as imperfect is not a new one. However, Dahl’s credibility makes his “apostasy worthy of consideration” (p. 85).

  1. Semicolons and colons: Place semicolons and colons outside of closing quotation marks or after a parenthetical citation, following proper punctuation rules.

4. Question marks and exclamation points: Place these punctuation marks inside closing quotation marks if the quotation itself is a question or exclamation. For example:

According to Menand (2001), H. W. Fowler’s Modern English Usage is considered “a classic of the language.” However, he questions whether it is a “dead classic” (p. 114). Please note that a period still follows the closing parenthesis.

If the entire sentence containing the quotation is a question or exclamation, place the punctuation mark outside of the closing quotation marks.

Quotation within a quotation:

When including a quotation within a quotation, use single quotation marks for the embedded quotation. Here’s an example:

Hertzberg (2002) criticizes the U.S. Constitution, claiming that it receives unfavorable feedback regarding “democratic fairness” and “encouraging consensus” (p. 90). These specific phrases are already quoted in Dahl’s sentence.

Indicating Changes in Quotations:

  1. When, but do not use them at the beginning or end unless it’s necessary to clarify that you’re quoting only a portion. Quoting a portion of the whole, you can use ellipsis points (. . .) to indicate an omission within a quotation.
  2. Use square brackets [ ] instead of parentheses to insert your own clarification, comment, or correction within a quotation.
  3. Indicating a mistake in the source: Use [sic] to indicate that a mistake is present in the original source you’re quoting and is not your own error.

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Tips to Avoid Plagiarism in Quoting and Paraphrasing

Tips to Avoid Plagiarism in Quotes and Paraphrasing

When it comes to using quotes and paraphrasing in your writing, it’s crucial to understand how to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense that can have severe consequences, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure your work is original and properly credited. Here are some tips to help you steer clear of plagiarism:

1. Use Quotation Marks: If you are directly quoting someone’s words, make sure to use quotation marks. This clearly indicates that the words are not your own and should be attributed to the original source. Additionally, include a proper citation to give credit to the author.

2. Document Sources: Even if you are using your own words to convey information or ideas from a source, it is essential to document the source. This includes providing proper citations for both information and ideas that are not common knowledge.

3. Common Knowledge: If the information you are including in your writing is considered common knowledge, you do not need to provide a source. Common knowledge refers to information that is widely known and accepted by the general public.

4. Paraphrase Carefully: Paraphrasing is a valuable skill in academic writing, but it’s important to do it correctly. When paraphrasing, rephrase the original text in your own words while maintaining the meaning and intent. However, simply changing a few words or rearranging the sentence structure is not enough. You must still attribute the ideas to the original source.

5. Use Plagiarism Checker Tools: To ensure your work is free from unintentional plagiarism, consider using a reliable plagiarism checker tool like Kwebby’s. This tool can help you detect any instances of matching text and provide you with a comprehensive report. By using such tools, you can have peace of mind knowing that your work is original and properly cited.

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By following these tips and being diligent in your writing process, you can avoid plagiarism and maintain academic integrity. Remember, properly crediting your sources not only shows respect for the original authors but also strengthens the credibility of your own work.


In conclusion, quoting and paraphrasing are essential skills for any writer, adding credibility and originality to your work. By mastering the art of quoting and paraphrasing, you can effectively integrate evidence into your research writing, supporting your ideas and maintaining a cohesive flow in your work. 

Remember to properly introduce and explain your quotes and paraphrases, cite your sources according to the appropriate style guide, and use quotes when the exact words are crucial and paraphrases when the specific wording is not necessary. 

Understanding how to paraphrase a source and quote a source correctly is crucial to guiding your readers through the text and avoiding plagiarism. By following these guidelines and using plagiarism checker tools, you can ensure that your work is original, properly credited, and maintains academic integrity. So, go ahead and add some flair to your writing with the art of quoting and paraphrasing. 

Happy writing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do with a quote found by the check?

If you come across a quote during your research that you find interesting or relevant, make sure to properly cite it in your work. This means including the author’s name, the source of the quote, and any necessary page numbers. Additionally, you can also consider paraphrasing the quote if it fits better within your own writing style or if you want to provide a succinct summary. Just be sure to maintain the original meaning and properly attribute the ideas to the original source material.

I used a quote, cited it in-text, but forgot to add quotations; how do I fix it?

To fix the issue of forgetting to add quotation marks to a cited quote in your text, simply go back to the quote and enclose it within double quotation marks. This will clearly indicate that the words are a direct quote from another source. Remember to also include the necessary citation information, such as the author’s name, the title of the source, and the page number (if applicable). By doing this, you not only ensure proper attribution but also maintain academic integrity in your writing.

Is it plagiarism if you use a quotation from a second source?

Yes, it can still be considered plagiarism if you use a quotation from a second source without proper citation. Plagiarism occurs when you present someone else’s work or ideas as your own, whether it’s a direct quote or a paraphrase. To avoid plagiarism, it’s crucial to always provide a citation and give credit to the original author. Properly citing your sources not only ensures academic integrity but also demonstrates your respect for other researchers and their contributions.

Is it considered plagiarism to use quotes in academic writing?

No, using quotes in academic writing is not considered plagiarism. However, it is important to use quotes properly and cite the source of the quote to give credit to the original author. Quoting allows you to directly include someone else’s words in your writing, as long as it is done in moderation and supports your own ideas. Just remember to follow the appropriate citation style guidelines when using quotes to avoid any issues with plagiarism.

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