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Home & Contents                       Basics                       College Writing                       www.OnlineGrammar.org

                  

                                   

PARTS & SECTIONS

Click on any  part or section below:

Part I. Basics/Process

  A. Chapters 1-6: Start

  B. Ch. 7-13: Organize

  C. Ch. 14-20: Revise/Edit

Part II. College Writing

   D. Ch. 21-23: What Is It?

   E. Ch. 24-30: Write on Rdgs.

   F. Ch.31-35: Arguments

  G. Ch. 36-42: Research

  H. Ch. 43-48: Literature

   I.  Ch. 49-58: Majors & Work

Part III. Grammar 

   www.OnlineGrammar.org
 
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 Study Questions
     

 

                                                             

Chapter 40: QUOTING & PARAPHRASING

                 
How should you add quotations and paraphrases?

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Basic Bibliography (with Example)

Basic Quoting and Paraphrasing (with Example)

Fitting Quotations & Paraphrases into Sentences (w/Examples)

"Sandwiching" Quotations (with Example)

     "Sandwiching" Exercise (Click to go to another page.)

Conclusion: What Do You Get Out of It?

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Introduction

This chapter goes into more detail about the basics of how to write an MLA (and APA) bibliography, how to use quotations and paraphrases, and how to smoothly introduce quotations and paraphrases into your paragraphs through a technique called "sandwiching."  For more details on any of these, please see "Paraphrasing" and "Quoting" in OnlineGrammar.org's "Chapter 16. Research Writing."  And for more detailed information on how to write bibliographies, see OnlineGrammar.org's "Chapter 17.Citation & Documentation."

There also are excellent examples of quoting, paraphrasing, and bibliography writing in the "Samples" sections of several chapters in this textbook.  Just click below on the following chapters to go directly to their "Samples" pages:

Analysis Paper

Dialogic/Dialectic Paper

Thesis Paper

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Basic Bibliography (8-12)

A bibliography is a final page, typed after the last page of your manuscript on a separate page, that lists your sources—books, articles, Web sites, etc.  Different disciplines use different ways of listing.  This example shows an MLA style bibliography, called a "Works Cited" page.  For best results, use a computer program.  Some schools provide these.  If your school doesn't, see "Bibliography Makers" in Chapter 17. of OnlineGrammar.org

Use the following in any MLA (or APA) bibliography:

  • Double space for every line.

  • Type--use same font size and style as the rest of your paper

  • .
  • Use normal margins--the same margins as in your paper.

  • Alphabetize your entries starting with the author's last name.

  • Make "hanging" indents of 1/2" (.5in): in MS Word, mark the entire page; then click on “Format/Paragraph/Special/Hanging.” 

  • Number the page(s) that continue the page numbering of your paper.  (If you have done your bibliography separately and, when you're ready to hand it in you realize your numbering is not consecutive, simply cross out the incorrect number once, clearly, and neatly write in the correct number.)

  • Type a simple bibliography title called "Works Cited": center it; keep the font size and style the same as in the rest of the bibliography and paper. 

    "Works Cited" is just for works you have quoted or paraphrased.  (What if you have additional sources?  Unused sources that helped you may be added to a separate page titled “Other Works Consulted."  Highly recommended additional sources may be added to a separate page titled “Selected Bibliography.”) 

  • Note: These titles are for MLA style.  The titles often are different in APA, CMS, CSE, and other styles.

Here are examples of five types of entries:

Example of an MLA Works Cited Page

        5.

Works Cited

        Bergner, Daniel. In the Land of Magic Soldiers. New York: Farrar, 2003. Print.

        “Basketball brawl.” Star Tribune 23 Nov. 2004. A22. Print.

        Lavender, Catherine. Alice Walker. College of Staten Island of CUNY, 26 Aug. 1997. Web. 15 Nov. 2004.

        Lemonick, Michael D. “Explaining Déjà Vu. Time 20 Aug. 2007.  Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Dec. 2007.

        Royster, Jacqueline Jones. “From Practice to Theory: Writing across the Disciplines at Spelman College.” Writing, Teaching, and Learning in the Disciplines. Ed. Anne Herrington and Charles Moran. New York: MLA, 1992. 119-131. Print.

ß Same margins & p. # as for rest of paper

ß Centered title with no " ", not in bold   

ß Book Name (Titles are in italics.)
       

ß News article” (without an author.    
      Use word “Print” for printed sources.)

ß Web Site (Publisher, publication date. Has the word “Web.” & your own access date.)
    

ß Electronic Library Source (Source, date.  Name of electronic source. “Web.” Date of your access.)
    
        

ß One essay in a book of many by different authors. (Essay is in “ ” with essay’s beginning and ending p. #s and the word “Print.”)
  

ß Entries alphabetical & double-spaced with hanging indents

Note: APA entries use slightly different pattern and contents.

For more on bibliographies, see "Chapter 17. Citation & Documentation" in OnlineGrammar.org.

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Basic Quoting and Paraphrasing (8-12)

  
How would you use the above entries in your paper?
 

Generally, use information from each “Works Cited” entry at least once in your paper, as either a quotation or a paraphrase.  If you have any kind of quotation, paraphrase (idea), fact, figure, or illustration, of any kind at all that you found or borrowed from someone else, be sure to add it to your bibliography.  However, if it is your own idea or common knowledge, you do not have to add a source.
  

Exactly what are quotations and paraphrases? 

They are evidence--details--supporting your thoughts.  A “quotation” (“Q”) is a source’s own words.  A “paraphrase” (“P”) is a source’s idea summarized in your words.  AVOID PLAGIARISM—you must give credit to each source.  Even accidental plagiarism can lead to flunking a course or being fired from a job.  To avoid such consequences, give authors credit not only for their words but also for their thoughts. 
  

How do you give credit? 

In your paper, state a source name using the first word or two from the bibliography entry—see the left-hand box immediately below and compare the author's names below with the same names in the bibliography above.  If a page number is available, add it in your paper in parentheses after the quotation or paraphrase. 

Examples of Quotations and Paraphrases

Quotations and Paraphrases

Comments

Bergner says, “Here, . . . in the middle of the lowest nation on earth, something baffling . . . had been created . . . (213).
(MLA)
   

According to Royster, it is wise for “instructors to ‘image’ what it is that they see themselves trying to do in the classroom” (122).
(MLA)

        

“Basketball” says that civil behavior is gradually decreasing in NBA games (A22).   (MLA)  Is there no author?  Then use the bib. entry's first 1-3 words.

                         

There are specific Web sites placing Alice Walker in the context of other women writers (Lavender).         
(MLA)  Web pages have no p. #s (but PDF files do).

ß MLA style: Author says, “Quotation” (00).

APA style: Author (20XX) said, “Quotation” (p. 0).

       

ß MLA style: According to Author, “Quotation” (00).

APA style: According to Author (20XX), “Quotation” (p. 0).

     

ß MLA style: Author says that paraphrase (00).

APA style: Author (19XX) said that paraphrase (p. 0).

  

ß MLA style: Paraphrase (Author).

APA style: Paraphrase (Author, 19XX).

      

How do you know what not to credit? 

Do not credit what is common knowledge.  Simply write it in your own words.  "Common knowledge" is information similar to what is in a standard dictionary—it is something a large number of sources know without needing to cite a specific source.  "The moon is in space" or "the earth takes 24 hours to turn once" are, for example, common knowledge.  “Common knowledge” is, as a rule, an idea or fact you can find in three or more sources, none of which credits a source.  Your own ideas also require no credit; however, if you find a published source also saying it, you should credit that source, as well.  For example, you can write something like this: "One idea is to ____.  This idea also is recognized by [author's name]."  In that way, you can show you thought of the idea on your own, and then you later found it in an official source.  In that way, you are avoiding even the appearance of committing plagiarism.

Does using the word "says" before quotations get too repetitive?

When you introduce an author and then his or her quotation, you should almost always use the word “says,” (or in APA, “said,").  You may occasionally use such very common words as “argues,” “asks,” “suggests,” “implies,” etc..  You may, very rarely, use “writes.”  You should never say before a quotation, “The author describes,” “The author thinks,” or "The author quotes” (unless the author is actually quoting another author). Why should you use "says" (or "said" in APA) and not something fancier, or vary the words you use?  If you use a lot of variety in how you say "says," your readers will notice it and be drawn away from the content of your paper.  Instead, let the word "says" remain mostly unnoticed, much like the periods at the ends of sentences.  One almost never hears someone complain that the periods are too boring and need to be varied.  That is because they act as a nearly invisible form of punctuation.  So does the word "says."  Using it simply marks the beginning of a quotation.

For details about quoting and paraphrasing, see "Chapter 16. Research Writing" in OnlineGrammar.org.

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Fitting Quotations & Paraphrases into Sentences

Here are some tips for fitting MLA (and APA) quotations into your papers.  Other styles will vary these methods somewhat. 

Basic Patterns or Formulas:

The most basic way to fit a quotation or paraphrase into the flow of your paper is as follows:

MLA Patterns:

Author says, "Quotation" (161).
or
According to Author, "Quotation" (161).
or
Author says that "quotation" (161).

---

Author says that [paraphrase] (161).
or
[Paraphrase] (Author 161).

MLA Examples:

Smith says, "Americans believe freedom is important" (161).
or
According to Smith, "Americans believe freedom is important (161).
or
Smith says that our citizens "believe freedom is important (161).

---

Smith says that citizens value being free (161).
or
Citizens value being free (Smith 161).

    

In APA style, these would look like the following:

APA Patterns:

Author (2009) said, "Quotation" (161).
or
According to Author (2009), "Quotation" (161).
or
Author (2009) says that our citizens "quotation" (161).

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Author (2009) said that [paraphrase] (161).
or
[Paraphrase] (Author, 2009, 161).

APA Examples:

Smith (2009) said, "Americans believe freedom is important" (161).
or
According to Smith (2009), "Americans believe freedom is important (161).

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Smith (2009) said that citizens value being free (161).
or
Citizens value being free (Smith, 2009, 161).


MLA: In MLA, the basic formula for introducing a quotation is to use the author's last name with the word "says," with a comma.  However, the basic formula for introducing a paraphrase is to use the author's name with "says that" with no comma. 

APA: In APA, the formula is similar to MLA's, but APA uses the past tense.  A quotation uses the author's last name with the word "said," with a comma.  A paraphrase uses "said that" with no comma.  APA also requires the date of publication immediately after the author's name. 

"According to": When quoting, a common second option is to use the phrase "According to."  You then add the author's name (and date in APA), and the quotation with the page number afterward.

Paraphrasing: Also notice that there are two acceptable ways to paraphrase: you can place the author's name before or after the paraphrase.  The most common way in MLA is to place the author's name first.  The more common way in APA is to place it after the paraphrase.

However, there are many variations on these basic formulas.  Variations depend partly on the nature of your quotation or paraphrase and partly on you:

No author name: What if you don't have the name of the author?  The rule for citing--whether an author or anything else--is to use the first word (or two) in the bibliography entry.  When you don't have an author's name, then the first word or two almost always is a title.  If it is more than a few words, you may use just the first one to three main words.  For example, if your bibliography entry starts with a book named Applied Psychology of Twin Behaviors, then your quotation (or paraphrase) might look like this:

MLA: Applied Psychology says, "Quotation" (53).

APA: Applied Psychology (2007) said, "Quotation" (53).

   
Using a title with an author's name
: Sometimes a book, essay, or website is so well known or so authoritative sounding that you may want to introduce a quotation by a title.  This is allowed.  However, you always must include the author's last name, before or after, if you have it.  For example, here are two ways to introduce a paraphrase from a famous book:

The Hobbit suggests that elves, dragons, and dwarves exist (Tolkien).
or

Tolkien's The Hobbit suggests that elves, dragons, and dwarves exist.

   
Quotation within a quotation
:
One question that often is asked is how to cite and document a quotation within a quotation. In other words, what if you have, for example, an essay that quotes Martin Luther King but does not tell the name, date, or place of the speech? Here is how to handle it:

IN YOUR PAPER:

Formula: Author of Q, "Q" (qtd. in Other Author XX).

Example: Martin Luther King said he had "been to the mountain top and seen the Promised Land" (qtd. in Johnson 258).

IN YOUR BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Simply add the main author (Johnson, in this example) as your source.  You do not need to worry about finding information on the original source for the King quotation. 

However, in a major term paper or upper-level or graduate research paper, a different approach is better.  If you can, find the original source of the quotation or paraphrase and then take your quotation or paraphrase directly from it. 

  

Starting Mid-Quotation:

If you use only a phrase from a sentence in your source, and that phrase is not at the beginning of the source's sentence, then you can the quotation with a small letter--just like it is in the source.  In such a situation, you can either start the quotation with "Author says that "quotation," or you can merge the author's words into your own sentence.  You also can make slight changes in a sentence by using brackets, as long as you don't change the meaning of the sentence. 

In addition, if the phrase you take from the sentence is a complete sentence in itself (even though, in the original, it begins in the middle with a small letter), then you can capitalize the first letter using brackets. 

Here are four examples of how to quote a phrase from the middle of a sentence:

Original sentence by an author named "Smith":
  

"It is likely, as some psychologists argue, that most ideas have value."

Four methods of quoting the words in the end of his sentence:
  

"Says that":  Smith says that “most ideas have value” (21).
  

Merge: Some authors like Smith believe "ideas have value" (21).
  

Change letters: Authors like Smith believe in "ideas hav[ing] value" (21).
    

Add a word: Authors like Smith believe "ideas [can] have value" (21).
 

Make a bracketed capital letter: Smith says, "[M]ost ideas have value" (21).

         
Adjusting for Deleted Words with an Ellipsis (". . ."):

If you want to leave unnecessary words out of a quotation, you use an ellipsis to replace the missing words.  You do this to show that you have removed words from the original.  An ellipsis is three dots with a space before and after, and between each one (" . . . ").  Here are several uses of an ellipsis:

Original sentence:
  

They left Paris at once.  It felt like time to go."

Using an ellipsis to show where words have been removed:
  

"From the middle:  “They left  .  .  .  at once” (21)
or
“They left Paris
.  .  .   It felt like time to go" (21).
 

At the end, no page number: “They left Paris .  .  .
   

At the end w/page number: “They left Paris  .  .  .” (21).
  


Note that if you use an ellipsis at the end of a sentence, you also have a period.  It looks like four dots, but it really is a period first, followed by the three-dot ellipsis.  When a period is present, there is no space before the period.
  

Fitting in Paraphrases:

There are two common methods of using paraphrases.  One, more common in MLA and history's Chicago/CMS styles, is to add them as you would a quotation, using a formula such as

Smith says that ___ (16).

or other formulas or methods discussed above.

However, there is another method that is used especially in APA style and in other styles in which writing must be very efficient.  In this method, you simply make statements in a flow of your own efficient words.  If your statements are your own ideas--or they are common knowledge--you do not provide citations for them.  However, if one of your statements comes from a source, then you provide a citation.  Here is an example of this kind of writing:

In the 1990s, the West African country of Sierra Leone endured a terrible civil war.  Many authors have documented the atrocities committed there (Bergner, 2003, Singer, 2005, et al.)  Many atrocities had to do with the use of child soldiers, work and sex slaves, and the chopping off of hands and arms and other maimings.  One particularly gruesome description of the chopping off of hands is the story of a young man who describes how one of his arms was laid on a "chopping block" that was an upended log (Bergner, 2003, pp. 3-7).  The first time a boy soldier tried to cut his forearm off, the machete did not go all the way through, so the boy soldier had to chop it again.  Other civilians simply were shot down because they were in the way of soldiers stealing food and valuables.  Tens of thousands of civilians died from such atrocities.

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For more details about quoting and paraphrasing, see "Chapter 16. Research Writing" in OnlineGrammar.org.

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"Sandwiching" Quotations

When you first add quotations to an early or rough draft of your paper, it is okay to simply "slap" them into your paragraphs.  However, as you revise, you need to surround your quotations with a smooth flow of comments that helps your reader understand, step by step, what you are saying.  The ideal reading experience to give readers is that they almost never notice the actual words, punctuation, and spacing on your paper on a conscious level; instead, what they are aware of consciously, is a constant flow of ideas, images, and feelings. 

One way to do this well sometimes is to write your paper for an imaginary reader who knows nothing about your subject.  Your imaginary reader may be someone other than your teacher – perhaps a friend, relative, another teacher, or someone else who knows nothing about your specific subject, though he or she may be interested in hearing what you have to say.  This means you will have to explain very clearly and obviously what you are saying. 

Basics of Sandwiching

As you explain, be clear by using "sandwiching." à

"Sandwiching" means that before your quote, you write an introduction of one to three sentences; and after it, a conclusion of one to two sentences. 

Don’t keep repeating the same words when you sandwich.  But if you are new at sandwiching, you may do better to practice it a little too much than too little.  It can improve the readability of your papers dramatically. 

             

________________

/         Top         \

/          Bun          \

 Meat/Tofu/Cheese

___________________

\          Bottom        /

\         Bun          /

   

          

Here is more detail:

Details of Sandwiching

Introduce a quotation by paraphrasing and clarifying it in one or more ways:   
(1) Use a transition such as “For example.”
(2) Paraphrase: summarize briefly what the quotation says.
(3) Clarify: use the 5 W's of journalism, if needed, to give background information for people, places, and events: what is happening – who is in the quotation, what is going on, and where, when, and why/how.

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Quote correctly: Author says, "Xxx" (21).

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Conclude: State how the quotation helps exemplify, support, or demonstrate what you mean to say or prove in that paragraph or body section.                  

 

  

      

       

   

  

  

  

     

             

_______________

/   Summary    \

/ & background \

 "Quotation"

_________________

\How it supports/

\ the main idea /

   

     
Here is an example without sandwiching (on the left) and without sandwiching (on the right).  Which is easier to read?  Why?  What elements of introduction and conclusion from above were added?

     Sandwiched vs. Non-Sandwiched Quotations

Without Sandwiching:

Some soldiers worry about the morality of their actions in war.  Johnson says, "Look, Jake, it was terrible.  Wasn’t there anything different we could have done” (161)?

          

     

 

With Sandwiching:

Some soldiers worry about the morality of their actions in war.  William Johnson, for example, discusses such moral reservations in "A Soldier’s Beliefs."  There he describes how he, as a soldier, talked to another soldier, named Jake, during a break at their base camp.  They talked about a tense battle both of them were in, at a time when several civilians were accidentally killed.  Johnson says, "Look, Jake, it was terrible.  Wasn’t there anything different we could have done” (161)?  Their conversation about this event is an example of how some soldiers do think—and even talk—about the morality of their actions in war.

      

"Sandwiching" Exercise (Click to go to another page.)

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Conclusion: What Do You Get Out of It?

What do you get out of the act of quoting and paraphrasing?  You'll discover two important events: (1) You'll explore and discover your topic in deeper, richer, more meaningful ways.  (2) You'll be much more likely to convince or at least sway your reader. 

The first point, discovering the topic at deeper levels, often is what both instructors and students think of the process of research as doing.  However, there are many ways to experience a topic or subject more deeply and richly that don't necessarily involve careful research, and some don't even involve going to school.  What instructors and especially students often forget is the concept of audience.  For more on this, see "Audience" in the chapter in this textbook called "What is College Writing?"  In short, research papers are written not just for one's own development but also with an audience in mind.  That audience is the imagined group of thousands of similar researchers and instructors in the same field or discipline at colleges and universities throughout the country. 

In most introductory courses in the first two years of college, if you imagine your audience as excellent students majoring in these fields, you will have a good sense of an audience that your instructors will appreciate.  In other words, imagine students who might excel in the field or discipline your class represents.  How can you write your paper logically, clearly, and in interesting ways such that those who are interested in your idea might find your paper interesting, enjoyable, and perhaps even useful to read?  If it helps you, imagine you are writing your paper for just one such person in your audience--a friend who knows about the discipline or field; perhaps you can imagine writing directly to your instructor, him or herself.  In any case, research papers are meant to be written not just as an expression of oneself, but also in a format of thinking and writing that fits the discipline or field for which they are being written. 

The best student research papers sound like they might contribute some piece of knowledge to the discipline or field about which they are writing.  Try to imagine you are providing such knowledge to other students interested in your subject--and do so honestly, logically, and fairly with plenty of facts, examples, and other details to help convince them. 

And if you also write your paper smoothly by inserting your ideas and quotations and paraphrases of others' ideas, then your paper will be much easier to read.  You want both: great information and a clear reading experience for your audience.  Then you will have succeeded.

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G. RESEARCH

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Chapters:

 36. What Is "Research"?

 37. Research Process

 38. Choosing Resources

 39. Developing the Paper

 40. Quoting/Paraphrasing

 41. Avoiding Plagiarism

 42. Critical Thinking

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Activities

MLA Ppr. Examples:
   Analyses
   Dialogic Args.
   Thesis Args.

APA Ppr. Examples:
   Case Studies
   Mag. Article

                    

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 Related Links in
OnlineGrammar.org:

  Examples of Several
  Bibliography Styles

  12. Types of Papers

  13. ESL/NNS/TESOL

  14. Online Readings

  16. Research Writing

  17. Citation & Documentation

  18. References & Resources

  19. Visual/Multimodal Design

  20. Major/Work Writing

 

Updated 1 Aug.. 2013

  

   

 

WritingforCollege.org also is at CollegeWriting.info and WforC.org

Natural URL: www.tc.umn.edu/~jewel001/CollegeWriting/home.htm
Previous editions: Writing for School & Work, 1984-1998; CollegeWriting.info, 1998-2012
6th Edition: 8-1-12, rev. 8-1-13.  Text, design, and photos copyright 2002-12 by R. Jewell or as noted
Permission is hereby granted for nonprofit educational copying and use without a written request.
Images courtesy of Barry's Clip Art, Clip Art Warehouse, The Clip Art Universe, Clipart Collection, MS Clip Art Gallery and Design Gallery Live, School Discovery, and Web Clip Art
Click here to contact the author: Richard Jewell.  Questions and suggestions are welcome.

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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