Every time you quote, paraphrase or summarise someone else’s work, you need to include an in-text citation. This is usually the author(s), date and, where applicable, page numbers.
Every in-text citation should also have a corresponding full reference in your bibliography.
The information below explains what quoting, paraphrasing and summarising are, and how you can use them in your writing.
Direct quotations are when you quote an author word for word.
Using quotations helps you to include the work of others in your essay or report, and can be especially useful when you are trying to support one of your own ideas. Quotations are most effective when they are short and direct, so try to avoid copying large chunks of text from other people into your work. Direct quotations can also break up the flow of your writing, so use them sparingly. Remember, it’s your thoughts and ideas that your lecturer is interested in, so always explain why you have quoted from someone, and never finish a paragraph with a direct quotation.
How to layout quotations
You can use ‘single’ or “double” quotation marks, simply choose one style and use it consistently throughout your essay.
Short quotations (typically up to two or three lines long) should be included in your paragraph, e.g.
Longer quotations should appear in a separate paragraph, indented from your main text, with the in-text citation at the end of the quotation. Because you are indenting the quotation, there is no need to quotation marks:
Paraphrasing and summarising
Paraphrasing and summarising are when you express someone else’s thoughts or ideas in your own words, often in a more concise way.
Paraphrasing is when you re-write a sentence, paragraph or page into your own words.
Summarising is when you give the main points of an entire chapter, book or webpage.
The benefits of paraphrasing and summarising are:
- You demonstrate your understanding of their work
- You can often express their ideas more succinctly and with greater clarity
- It makes your writing flow better than the stop / start of using direct quotations.
The most important things to remember are you MUST keep the original meaning, and you MUST include clear in-text citations so that your lecturer can tell which are your own thoughts and ideas, and which are someone else’s.
How to layout paraphrases and summaries
When you are paraphrasing you can incorporate the author in your sentence:
Or you can include the author in your citation at the end of your sentence:
In any case, in both the examples above the original point made by Rojek has been re-written using completely different language. This shows to your lecturer that you have understood and analysed the idea, but as the idea is still originally Rojek’s an in-text citation and reference must still be included.
Summarising does not go into the same level as detail as paraphrasing, because you are referring to a larger piece of work than perhaps a paragraph or page.
Summarising could look like this:
The example above summarises a whole chapter into one sentence, but still references the author and date to acknowledge the work of the original author.
Paraphrasing/summarising is also how you should incorporate factual information into your work. You do not need to use quotations for factual information, you can simply state it in your own words and then include your citation in brackets at the end. E.g.