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Citing Sources: Paraphrase vs. Direct Quotation

What's Included in this Guide?

Paraphrase vs. Direct Quote:

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Guides & Sample Papers

The OWL at Purdue provides resources that may useful for writing projects & citation help.

Click here for a full-length self-paced online tutorial from the APA's website.

Publication Manual

Copies of the Publication Manual are found in the reference and check out collections of the Philadelphia Campus Library and the Newtown LRC.

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Paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is when you read someone's idea or concept from another source and then put it into your own words. It is perfectly acceptable to paraphrase another author's research IF you cite it and give them proper credit for their ideas--even if those ideas are now in your own words.

Your paraphrase must be sufficiently distinct from the original passage. Paraphrasing is not simply changing a word or two or rearranging the author's sentences--you might as well use the original passage in quotation marks. An effective paraphrase will convey the author's facts or conclusions accurately, but in your own unique style. Learn more about paraphrasing.

Here is an example of citing paraphrased material:

To countries outside the EU, labeling rules for GM food products might be interpreted more as an attempt to benefit EU trade than to safeguard consumers (Andersen, 2010).

Please note: The American Psychological Association encourages writers to use a page number when paraphrasing material; however including a page number is NOT required except when directly quoting material. Please consult with your faculty member on this matter.

For more information about how to cite sources within the text of your paper, see APA: In-Text Citations.

Direct Quotations

  • Quotations must be reproduced word for word.
  • Include the author's last name, year of publication, and page or paragraph numbers.
  • Page numbers or paragraph numbers are required when citing direct quotations.

Direct Quotation: Less than 40 words

Quotations of less than 40 words are enclosed in "double quotation marks" and incorporated into the text of your sentence.

"From the point of view of a US based food company the EU rules may appear to be trade protectionism rather than reasonable consumer protection" (Andersen, 2010, p. 141).

OR

According to Andersen (2010), EU regulations concerning the labeling of genetically modified foods "may appear to be trade protectionism rather than reasonable consumer protection" (p. 141).

Direct Quotation: More than 40 words (Block Quotation)

For quotations over 40 words, use a block quotation following the guidelines given in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, p. 171.

  • Omit quotation marks
  • Quotation should be a freestanding block of text that begins on a new line
  • Block quotes are double-spaced
  • Indent block

Notetaking should be packed with mental action: it involves creative engagement. Interactive notetaking provides revealing evidence of authentic student comprehension from both written and aural sources. Interactive notetaking replaces the frequent reliance for evaluation of comprehension on simulated reading evidence, such as fill-in-the-blank sheets or predetermined multiple choice examinations. (Jacobs, 2006, p. 41)

For more information about how to cite sources within the text of your paper, see APA: In-Text Citations.

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