should I quote, and when is a paraphrase more appropriate?
How else can I refer to other authors' ideas besides
quoting and paraphrasing?
a quote for the ideas (besides your own)
that are most important to your paper. Your agreement with,
disagreement with, or amendments to these ideas should generally
constitute important aspects of your arguments. Because
of their importance, it is the exact words of these quotes
that you want to respond to.
- Use a paraphrase when
an idea is less central to your own argument, or when you
feel you can more concisely state what would be a lengthy
General Reference: It is possible to refer
to another writer's idea or ideas in a way that is somewhat
more general than either a quote or a paraphrase, such as
in the following example:
Many critics have observed that Tom Wolfe,
for example, has made something of a cottage industry
out of ironic observation of America's ruling class
There is no citation following either "critics" or "Tom
Wolfe" because there are no particular critics being referred
to in the first case, and no particular work being referred
to in the second. However, a general statement like the one above,
if it occurs in an academic paper at all, is almost always
going to precede a more specific discussion of the same
topic which mentions (and cites!) particular critics and
Brief Reference: This is where
you provide a cited reference without including either a
quote or a paraphrase, such as in the following example:
Similar work has already been done by
Purdy (1978) and Jenkins (1986).
These citations are to specific works which will be included
in the paper's Works Cited section, but the writer did not
feel the need to either quote or paraphrase any particular
text by these authors; they are serving more as a general
backdrop to an argument or review of literature, and are
probably just included in the interests of completeness.
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