Using Quotations and Avoiding Plagiarism

دوره: Academic Writing Essentials University Writing Crash Course / فصل: Developing Your Writing Style / درس 7

Using Quotations and Avoiding Plagiarism

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We’re now on to our final lecture in section 3 today we’ll be talking about how to use quotations correctly

and effectively and how to avoid plagiarism.

First why do we use quotations we use quotations to refer to an expert’s ideas and to illustrate a conversation

within disciplines specific research.

So at a cost level when we write depending on the assignment for many assignments our goal is to develop

and to express our own ideas in a persuasive manner.

We use quotations to show how our ideas are in conversation either in support of being supported by

or an argument against others ideas and there are three main forms of incorporating others ideas.

The first is of course a direct quotation.

The second is summary and the third is to paraphrase.

It’s important to remember that each of these is using someone else’s ideas.

All right so even if we’re summarizing or paraphrasing we still need to cite our sources because we

are using someone else’s ideas when using someone else’s ideas or incorporating someone else’s ideas.

I want to remind you of a tool or a strategy I taught early on and in this course that is the purpose

of life or the purpose of a quotation.

The purpose of life for the purpose of quotation has three parts.

First where did I come from.

Second why am I here.

And third Where am I going.

And this is a strategy to remind ourselves that we need to transition both into someone else’s ideas

and back out of someone else’s ideas into our own writing.

So where did I come from is the idea of introducing the quotation.

Why am I here is the quotation itself or the other person’s ideas and where am I going is the commentary

or analysis of the quotation.

So your individual your personal commentary and analysis of the quotation you’ve provided.

So let’s talk about each part of that purpose of life idea in a little bit more depth so give you some

ideas of how to introduce a quotation and how to transition back out of a quotation.

First we’ll look at introducing a quotation.

The reason we introduce a quotation is to prepare your reader to hear someone else’s voice.

And there are two main ways of doing this.

The first is to contextualize.

So this gives a sense of where you’re taking the quotation from.

Let me show you an example in 2014 to me course on academic writing and all in one crash course to college


Taylor argues that writing is both an art and a science.

OK so we can textual lies by identifying exactly where you’re taking this quotation from.

Another way of preparing your reader to hear someone else’s voice is to defend or to show the authority

of the speaker.

Another example.

Mike Taylor Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of British Columbia agrees that good writing

is both an art and a science.

So here we list qualifications right.

We show the authority of the speaker as you develop your own writing style There are of course other

ways of introducing quotations.

My goal today is simply to emphasize the importance of introducing your quotations and giving you two

basic strategies of how to do that.

And now skip over the quotation itself.

Why am I here simply because that’s where you insert the other person’s ideas either in the form of

direct quotations summary or paraphrase I will move straight on then to the commentary or analysis commentary

and analysis.

In my mind is the most important element of incorporating quotations showing your engagement to your

personal engagement with other people’s ideas.

As a general rule in your papers all together you should have more commentary or analysis than the quotation

paraphrase or summary itself.

In other words if you have a four line quotation you need to have ample discussion of that quotation.

So a one line summary of that quotation is not going to cut it right.

You do this by first speaking directly to the quotations significance.

So you never assume your quotations will speak for themselves.

What they say to you may come across completely differently to your reader so you need to explain this

to your reader.

What is so significant about the passage that you’ve chosen to quote the passage that you’ve chosen

to paraphrase.

Why did you choose that one specifically and so on.

Tell your readers how to read the quotation to ensure they understand it the same way you do.

While doing this you should never simply restate the quotation in other words that is not commentary

or analysis of the quotation or the ideas that you’re citing.

It is also important to maintain your own voice throughout your paper rather than creating a list of

others ideas.

So this is why we comment or analyze the quotations that we do use is because the goal is to highlight

our own voice our own ideas not to simply list others finally select quotations or support your ideas

rather than molding your ideas to support the quotations.

It becomes very obvious in student writing when a student is simply regurgitating a whole bunch of other

people’s ideas rather than demonstrating a student’s own engagement with those ideas.


So rather than simply adopting other people’s ideas always establish a thesis or at least a working

thesis first and then find quotations that support your thesis that builds thesis a couple of important

strategies for using quotations also include the sentence structure of that quotation.

You as the author of your paper have the freedom of changing the quotations a little bit in order to

agree with.

For example you can use brackets use brackets to change the tense or person of a quotation to match

the tense of your sentence.

For example Harris remarks that she always hoped to change the world with her music and that’s just

what she has done.

The original quotation says I always hope to change the world with my music.

OK so change the tends to past tense.

We’ve changed the person from first person to third person.

We also use brackets to add your own words to clarify.

For example Jones read her stories at the Care Center to lift up the patient’s spirits.

Original quotation.

Jones read her stories to lift up the patients spirits.

So we’ve used brackets to clarify exactly where she is reading her stories and no thing we do in our

sentence structures the use of an ellipsis.

We use this to omit unnecessary words from the original quotation.

So lots of times we want just parts of a quotation parts of someone else’s ideas.

All right and so we use an ellipses to omit these unnecessary words.

In between those parts for example the original quotation is from Huckleberry Finn.

Just because you are taught that something is right and everything and everyone believes it right it

don’t make it right.

I for my paper don’t want the middle part so I’m going to use an ellipsis and omit that and so now or


Just because you are taught something something’s right it don’t make it right.

Finally to formally Pepsis remember that you need a space between each period.

Lots of students just type period period period really fast right.


But that’s not actually an ellipses and ellipses as with the space between each.

Finally something extremely important in college training because no professor ever wants to have to

fail a student which is usually the university policy for plagiarism is how to use other’s ideas while

avoiding plagiarism.

It’s actually quite simple.

You simply need to always no matter what side the source of your quotation summary or paraphrase.

OK so no matter what if you’re ever using someone else’s ideas if you’re not the one coming up with

the idea on your own.

Then you need to cite.

I’m going to show you just one basic citation format one that is very common in basic college writing

which is MLA at the end of the slide you’ll see of added the link so that you can check out a very popular

academic writing Web site that will walk you through some of the other popular citation styles or cite

citation guides.

But first they all just talk about Emily.

And again I’m only giving you the very basics of in-text citations or quotations used within the within

your writing.

First if you mention the author’s name in the introductory sentence you only need to include the page

number in parentheses.

So for example Mark Twain writes.

Just because you are taught that something right and everyone believes it’s right it don’t make it right.

Then in parentheses what is 48 and then a period outside of the parentheses so no period within the

quotation marks.

Instead we put that on the very end.

Outside of the final scientific citation it’s the author’s name is not mentioned.

Then you do need to include the author’s last name and page number.

I agree that just because you are taught that something’s right and everyone believes it tried it don’t

make it right and then we have Twain 48 so you can see we don’t have to write an abbreviation of page

or the number sign or anything else.

Simply the author’s last name and then the number so author’s last name space page number.

OK and again as I promised here’s a link to probably the most comprehensive online source and reliable


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