Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

by Randall S. Davis




"Sharing ideas is what the Internet is all about!"

- Randall Davis
Japan




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Purpose of Lesson:


What is the danger in copying other material?

In your research writing, you will often consult other material to support your ideas, but you want to be extremely careful that you do not just copy the material without giving credit to someone else's work. Plagiarizing other material is a very serious offense since information from magazines, books, and websites are copyrighted by the original author.

Thus, you need to use quotes and paraphrasing effectively to avoid this. This does not mean, however, that you just copy and paste on long quote in your paper. You need to be able to synthesize and summarize the material from a variety of sources. list of references).


How do I use quotations in my paper?

Quotations are used when you use the exact words of the author. You must also (a) give the author's name and the year of publication with the quote, (b) copy the material exactly as it is written in the original source (even if words are misspelled), and (c) put quotation marks around it. Let's look at this example:

Original source:

"The nature and challenges of learning a foreign language remain the same all over the world: while traveling or studying abroad is a dream of the majority of students, this wish often goes unfulfilled. The realities of time, money, and other obligations limit many of those who want a taste of a native culture under "authentic" conditions. As a result, some students become disheartened, wondering if their time has been wasted having studied English, yet never having opportunities to broaden their horizons by interacting with speakers of the target language. In addition, language teachers often feel frustrated, not sure how to provide these experiences for their students. Yet, one method of instruction which provides students with both language and cultural exchange is establishing relationships with pen friends from abroad."
Now, you have two methods of quoting: (a) blockquotes or (b) in-text quotations. If you are quoting material that is over 45 words in length, you can indent this material from the rest of the paper, including the author's information and year of publication:

Davis (1995) explains the rationale behind establishing penfriend exchanges:

"The nature and challenges of learning a foreign language remain the same all over the world: while traveling or studying abroad is a dream of the majority of students, this wish often goes unfulfilled. The realities of time, money, and other obligations limit many of those who want a taste of a native culture under "authentic" conditions. As a result, some students become disheartened, wondering if their time has been wasted having studied English, yet never having opportunities to broaden their horizons by interacting with speakers of the target language."
You could also introduce this quote by using these expressions:

In the article, "Reaching Out and Beyond: Establishing Relationships with Pen Friends," Davis (1995) discusses how penfriend programs can benefit students:

Davis (1995), a teacher at XXXX University, states the following in the MEXTESOL Journal about the challenges students have in using English outside of the classroom:

If the quotation is less than 45 words, you can simply add the quotation within the paragraphs you are writing like this:

Davis (1995) states that "the realities of time, money, and other obligations limit many of those who want a taste of a native culture under "authentic" conditions."

Here are important points to include in your quotations:

  1. the last name of the author
  2. the date of publication
  3. quotation marks around the quote
  4. the use of quotations around an article ("The History of the Internet")
  5. the use of italics of the title of a book (The History of the Internet)


How do a using paraphrasing in my research?

Often, you need to using paraphrasing in your writing as part of the research process. Paraphrasing is the process is explaining the precise ideas of other writers in your own words. This is different from summarizing when you just make reference to the general idea of the writer. Let's look at this part of the original quote:

" The realities of time, money, and other obligations limit many of those who want a taste of a native culture under "authentic" conditions. "
The paraphrase for this quote would include all of the essential details, written in your own words:
"Davis (1995) states that lack of financial resources, time, and other duties can prevent people from experiencing an authentic environment of a foreign culture."
A summary of this quote would only include the main idea:
"Going to another country can be difficult."
You can use synonyms (words with similar meanings) to write your paraphrase or change your sentence structure. Using some of the same words in a paraphrase is acceptable.

Example:

Original: "There are several methods for learning English well, including memorizing vocabulary and using it in conversation."
Paraphrase: "Learning new words and using them when you speak are two ways to master English."