Quoting, Paraphrasing, &
Summarizing
Adapted from a presentation by
Enda P Guinan
Language Centre
NUI Maynooth
Using others’ ideas
• All of us use others’ ideas to build on,
challenge or disagree with
• The writer must make it clear which
ideas and words are his/hers, which
belong to others
• References add weight to your argument
• Strict conventions exist on quoting
others’ ideas or words
Incorporating the ideas of others
• To weave the information you’ve
gathered into your own writing you can:
1. Quote directly
2. Paraphrase
3. Summarize
The Methods
• Direct quoting involves adding the exact
words, inside quotation marks, to your
text
• Paraphrasing, or indirect quoting,
involves rewriting the ideas in your own
words
• Summarizing involves succinctly giving a
synopsis of the main ideas in your own
words
When to quote directly
• Good writers only quote directly when
the way a sentence or passage is worded
is significant:
 According to Barton, “Five times out of ten,
a student writer is better off paraphrasing or
summarizing than quoting directly.”
• Don’t quote “plain” passages directly:
 Jordon writes, “There were five chemists
present during the experiment.”
Stand alone quotations
• Do not include a quotation in your document that
“stands alone.” Use the ICE method:
 Introduce
 Cite
 Explain
• An “introduction” can be simple:
 Barton writes,
• Then the citation:
 “The ICE method is easy to remember.”
• And the explanation, or justification for the quotation:
 Most students can remember what the letters in ICE stand for
even years afterwards.
• Use quotations to support your points, not make them.
Block quotes
• If the quotation is longer than three
lines, it must be set apart in a block
quote (indented, single-spaced, italicized
with NO quotation marks)
• Professors usually don’t appreciate lots of
block quotes and assume that the student
used them out of sheer laziness
• Use long quotations sparingly – you are
better off paraphrasing
Incorporating direct quotations
• To incorporate direct quotations into your
text use introductory phrases




According to…
A study by […] has shown that…
Numerous studies […] indicate that…
In a now-famous study, [X] noted that…
Sample introductory phrases
•
•
•
•
•
Smith
Smith
Smith
Smith
Smith
points out…
reports…
notes…
observes…
concludes…
•
•
•
•
•
Smith recognises…
According to Smith…
To quote Smith…
As Smith has
indicated…
Smith defines … as…
Be sure the direct quote does not interrupt the flow of
your sentence
Warning
• Essays that use extensive direct quotations tend
•
•
to lack voice, continuity, or authority.
If you offer quotations every few lines, your
ideas become subordinate to other people’s
ideas and voices. Your ideas are lost and the
piece will not indicate that YOU have done any
thinking or synthesizing.
Therefore, you are generally better off
paraphrasing and summarizing material and
using direct quotations sparingly.
Paraphrasing
• Good writers paraphrase passages or material
•
that wouldn’t be useful to quote directly.
Original Passage:
 “If the nation is to obtain the maximum benefit from
its investments in information technology, a labor
pool capable of using it appropriately is necessary.”
• Paraphrase:
 Interestingly, the Committee notes that the U.S.
won’t benefit from revolutionary new technologies
unless the labor force is better trained.
Paraphrasing Guidelines
• Do not alter the author’s original message
• Do not eliminate any significant background
•
•
information
Do not misrepresent the author’s intentions
Do not copy the original wording too closely
 Don’t just change a few words or shuffle things
around; read the passage several times and
completely rewrite it.
Paraphrasing Tips
 Change vocabulary
 Change word category
 Synthesis
Change vocabulary
• Substitute verbs or nouns with the same
meaning
Shaw examines the difficulties that…
= Shaw investigates the difficulties that…
The finding was made in 2001…
= In 2001 the discovery was made …
Change word category
• Change nouns into verbs, verbs into
adjectives, etc.
The reports were completed in April…
= The completion of the reports in April
ensured that the students had time to
revise before their examination
Synthesis
• Integrate the ideas several sources, combining
two or more viewpoints.
• Santiago operates with the “salad bowl”
metaphor, the belief that America is a rich
nation precisely because of its distinctive
ethnic groups. Hayakawa operates with a
“melting pot” metaphor, the belief that in
coming to America foreigners should relinquish
what makes them separate in order to blend
into the American mainstream.
Summarizing
• Condensing a writer’s ideas into a much
shorter piece with your words
• Summaries allow you to sort through the
information in the source and report only
what you consider to be essential.
• Example:
Culture Shock
‘Culture shock’ is the state of being confused
when in contact with a different and unfamiliar
civilization. ‘Shock’ suggests something that is
negative: this may be true, especially at first.
Typically, a person going to study in another
country for the first time may miss family and
friends and, consequently, feel homesick. The
person may have sleeping difficulties and, in
extreme cases, may become depressed or ill.
(67 words)
Summary:
• Culture shock is the confusion caused by
contact with an alien society. Initially,
reactions may be negative.
• (17 words)
Referring to your sources
• Ideas are the ‘property’ of the person
who first produced them
• Copying these ideas without
acknowledging the creator is stealing plagiarism
• Possibly the most serious academic
‘crime’
Acknowledging your sources
• There are conventions for indicating the
source of the quotations and ideas you’ve
used in your writing
• 1. The bibliography (aka references,
works cited) at the end of the paper
• 2. Parenthetical citations that follow an
individual quotation or reference in your
text
• Your essays will require BOTH
What is a parenthetical citation
or reference?
• An acknowledgement, at the point of usage,
that you are making use of another writer’s
ideas or data in your writing.
The author comically stated that "Maybe man
would not overrun the planet, but his pet
poodles and Siamese cats might" (Westin 6).
As Donner (47) points out, low inflation does not
always lead to low interest rates.
Why use them?
• To avoid the charge of plagiarism
• To lend more authority to your writing; it
shows you are familiar with other
research on the topic
• To allow the reader to find the original
source
Which of these need
references?
• A mention of facts or figures from another
•
•
•
•
•
writer
An idea of your own
Some data you have found from your own
research
A theory suggested by another researcher
A quotation from a work by any author
Something that is agreed to be common
knowledge
Putting a quotation into your
essay
• Every quote must refer to the source
• Different techniques or styles exist - MLA, APA, Chicago – make sure you know
which style is required for your paper
Parenthetical citation when the
author is not mentioned in your text
•For MLA style put the following in parentheses
after the quote or paraphrase
Author’s surname only
Page number of reference
“Infectious disease is no longer the major cause
of human deaths in Australia” (Morgan 261).
Parenthetical citation when the author
is mentioned in your text
• Immediately after author’s name - in
parentheses
 Page number
Postgate (245) believes that flush toilets are quite
unhygienic.
As Postgate (245) says, “flush toilets are quite
unhygienic devices.”
Direct Quote Conventions
• Use three dots … to show you have removed
material from a quote
Original: “The most useful way of making a world
survey is to identify families of languages,
preferably using criteria such as those worked
out by myself in 1933, showing relationships by
origin and development” (Brook 98).
Quote : “The most useful way of making a world
survey is to identify families of languages …
showing relationships by origin and
development” (Brook 98).
Single quotations marks
Single quotation marks are used when
you’re referring to a quote within a
quote. In those instances, single
quotation marks are placed around the
innermost direct quote.
"John F. Kennedy said, 'Ask not what your
country can do for you, ask what you can
do for your country.'"
A final reminder
• Whether you chose to quote directly or to
paraphrase, remember this:
• Whenever you put a quotation - direct or
•
indirect - into a paragraph, the sentence in
which it occurs must still remain
grammatically correct.
Make sure the sentence reads coherently and
smoothly with the quotation.
Finis!
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Quoting Skills