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Formatting & References

Quoting Explained

When using information from a source, you can use quotes, both to prevent plagiarism and to add credibility. Plagiarism is when you reference or state information that comes from another source without recognizing that it is someone else’s ideas. To fix this issue, you place the borrowed reference within quotation marks and then add a brief citation afterward (the type of citation depends on the citation guide you are using – MLA, Chicago, APA, ASA, etc.).

Example: “Although the assessment was proven useless, the study material enhanced the students’ learning abilities” (Markson 36).

HOWEVER, you don't want to use quotes to speak for you. Whenever possible, you want to explain the idea or information in your own words because 1) it shows your professor that you understand what you read, and 2) you want your ideas to stand out in the paper. Your sources should support your argument, not overpower your point with masses of unexplained information.  Quotes are used sparingly to show an author’s particular viewpoint.

Paraphrasing – rewording a quote to fit into your sentence without saying the exact same thing – allows for greater creativity and the opportunity to integrate the source’s words into your own argument. When paraphrasing, you remove the quotations but still show the citation at the end.

The experiment illustrates that study material helps students because the students had a greater grasp on learning and understanding the course topic (Markson 36).

If you believe that the direct quote is necessary to provide the most important information, you could choose to embed it into your own words. In doing this, you are using the content to enhance your personal argument, while also creating a better flow.

Once the students received scores for their assessments, test results showed no difference even though “the study material enhanced the students’ learning abilities” (Markson 36). 

Resources on Quoting