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Section 2 Becoming a Researcher/Scholar / Chapter 7 Preparing for Writing

6. Paraphrasing vs. Quoting


A direct quote is copying the exact words from a resource into a paper and providing a citation that includes the author’s name, year of publication, and the page number of the quote. Paraphrasing is the restatement of another author’s ideas into your own words. When including a paraphrase of another author’s work, writers must still acknowledge the original authorship.


Direct quote:

Zimbardo (2007) writes, “If Achilles is the archetypal war hero, Socrates holds the same rank as a civic hero” (p. 462).



Just as Achilles has been celebrated as the quintessential war hero, Socrates has also been acknowledged as an exemplary model of civil heroics (Zimbardo, 2007).


The purpose of writing a paper is to explore and defend the writer's ideas, not to quote someone else’s thoughts; therefore, direct quotes should be used sparingly. There are exceptions to this rule: If a quotation will add credibility to your argument, or if the original language explains the subject in eloquent terms that you could not replicate, a direct quotation is acceptable and could enhance the paper. A quotation should not be dropped into a paragraph without explanation or introduction. Plotnick (n.d.) offered a list of common verbs used to introduce direct quotes, “Argues, maintains, states, writes, suggests, claims, points out, insists, demonstrates, concludes, observes, says, comments, counters, explains, notes, asserts, reveals” (section 4). These, and similar words, provide context for the quotation and allow the writer to introduce the author of the quotation. However, learners should exercise caution when using quotations. Paraphrasing material and including proper citations for the paraphrased work is a beneficial practice, as it allows the learner to engage in a deeper understanding of the source material.