WHAT IS QUOTING AND PARAPHRASING?
When you are asked to write about or analyze text(s), you will use quotes and paraphrases from them. What is the difference between quoting and paraphrasing?
- Quoting: Is using the direct language from another person either in full sentences or groups of words and putting the borrowed language between quotation marks.
- Paraphrasing: Is putting the ideas or arguments of another person entirely into your own words.
WHY QUOTE VERSUS PARAPHRASE?
Before you use a quotation, decide if you can use your own words (paraphrase) to express the author's ideas. If you include too many quotations, readers form the impression that you cannot think for yourself. However, in text-based writing, you will want to include some quotes, so you keep your analysis of the text central to your discussion.
Use quotations when…
- the original language is as important as the ideas it contains, that is, when the author’s words are so articulate or expressive that they deserve to be preserved.
- the original language is concise, and a paraphrase would be too wordy.
- the original language is from an established authority who could lend extra credibility to your claims.
- the original language itself is the object of analysis, a situation that happens most commonly when writing about literature.
HOW DO I PROPERLY QUOTE AND PARAPHRASE?
- When you quote, you want to enclose all borrowed language between quotation marks and then provide an in-text citation that cites the source. In MLA formatting, the in-text citation generally includes the author’s last name and the page number in parenthesis after the quote (Garcia 21). See Chapter 5: MLA Conventions for more detail.
- When you paraphrase, you are deciding that an author's ideas but not his/hers exact words are important to your point. A paraphrase should not change the ideas, but it can eliminate or change words, often in order to condense a long sentence that contains details unnecessary to your point. Even though you are not quoting, you still need to credit the source you are paraphrasing by making it clear in the context of your discussion or by citing it as you would a quote.
Original: The solidarity that characterizes communities does not mean, however, that all is unity and harmony within. Many commentators err, I think, by insisting that absence of conflict, like the family conflict we all know, is real, though it differs from, say, market competition, in being mediated by emotional bonds. (from "The Meanings of Community" by Thomas Bender, page 67.)
Quote: According to Bender, "The solidarity that characterizes communities does not mean, however, that all is unity and harmony within" (67).
Paraphrase: While some people believe a lack of conflict characterizes community, Bender asserts that some communities may have and need conflict.
Partial Paraphrase: Unlike other forms of conflict, though, Bender believes that family conflict is "mediated by emotional bonds” (67).
In writing you will use a mixture of direct quotations, paraphrases and partial paraphrases. Using the original quotations below, create one of each type:
Quote 1: "In my teaching I never concealed my political views: my detestation of war and militarism, my anger at racial inequality, my belief in a democratic socialism, in a rational and just distribution of the world's wealth. I made clear my abhorrence of any kind of bullying, whether by powerful nations over weaker ones, governments over their citizens, employers over employees, or by anyone on the Right or Left, who thinks they have a monopoly on the truth." (from Howard Zinn's book You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, page 7).
Quote 2: "The eye-for-an-eye philosophy, the impulse to defend oneself when attacked, has always been held as the highest measure of American manhood. We are a nation that worships the frontier tradition, and our heroes are those who champion justice through violent retaliation against injustice. It is not simple to adopt the credo that moral force has as much strength and virtue as the capacity to return a physical blow; or that to refrain from hitting back requires more will and bravery than the automatic reflexes of defense." (from Martin Luther King's book Why We Can't Wait, page 24).
Potential answers for QUOTING, PARAPHRASING, AND PARTIAL PARAPHRASING EXERCISE
Quote 1: Howard Zinn
Quote: Howard Zinn conveys to his students his strong convictions that no one has the right to oppress another under any circumstance, “I made clear my abhorrence of any kind of bullying, whether by powerful nations over weaker ones, governments over their citizens, employers over employees, or by anyone on the Right or Left, who thinks they have a monopoly on the truth” (7).
Paraphrase: Zinn shares his support of equality for all people and his anti-oppression viewpoints with his students.
Partial Paraphrase: Zinn fearlessly shares his controversial political views such as his “detestation of war and militarism” (7).
Quote 2: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Quote: King looks to our historical background in the U.S. to understand why we are a people so driven by violence: “We are a nation that worships the frontier tradition, and our heroes are those who champion justice through violent retaliation against injustice” (24).
Paraphrase: King asserts it is harder to practice non-violence in the U.S. where we admire people who are willing to commit violence.
Partial Paraphrase: King sadly observes that the “highest measure of American manhood” (24) is a person’s willingness to commit violent revenge.