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Academic Integrity: Quoting

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“A fundamental part of academic study is reading the work of other people and using their ideas to develop your own.”

Jeanne Godfrey, How to use your reading in your essays

A quotation is an unchanged piece of text from a source that you use in your own writing. They are extremely useful in particular situations (see below) but should be used sparingly as they can break up the flow of your writing and do not show the same level of understanding that putting something into your own words (paraphrasing) can.

When should you use a quotation?

Although quotations should be used sparingly, they can be the best option in a number of situations. These include when:

  • You are providing a definition of something:
  • The authors have expressed themselves in an unusual or notable way:
  • The words have historic or other significance (and you would not want to change them):
  • You are quoting single words or short phrases where a paraphrase would be unhelpful:
  • A quotation, rather than a paraphrase, makes your point more justifiable because it backs it up specifically:
  • There is no other way of re-wording it: