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Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

There are many ways to incorporate another writer’s work within your own assignments such as:


A quote is the exact wording of the source material (either written or spoken). Quotes are word-for-word, or identical, to the original source.


A paraphrase is a detailed restatement in your own words of the source material. This must includechanges in organization, wording, and sentence structure, but the paraphrase should be nearly identical in meaning to the original message. It should also be nearly the same length as the original passage and present the details of the original source.


A summary is a condensed restatement of the original material. Similar to paraphrasing, summarizing involves using your own words and writing style to express another writer’s ideas. Unlike a paraphrase, which presents important details, a summary presents only the most essential ideas from the original text. Summarizes will be much shorter than the original text.

It is important to use evidence to support the arguments made in an assignment. When a writer uses research in their writing, it is sometimes difficult to decide what should be quoted versus what should be paraphrased or summarized. It is beneficial to know the difference between quotations, paraphrases and summaries and when to use which in the text.