Paraphrasing

Quotation MarksWhen you are producing a piece of writing at university, you will often want to talk about what someone else has written about the topic. Quoting and paraphrasing are two distinct ways of doing this.

Quoting means directly including in your work the published words or other data you have found in a source. Paraphrasing means expressing in your own words the ideas, arguments, words or other material you have found published elsewhere.

There are many reasons for quoting or paraphrasing in your own work, but essentially these techniques allow you to show your understanding of current knowledge about the topic you are studying, and respond to that knowledge in your work. Remember that you will need to cite and reference all of the sources that have informed your work.

It is a complex linguistic skill to incorporate others’ work smoothly and efficiently into your own by quoting or paraphrasing. It is a key skill of academic writing that will help to ensure that your work does not include elements of plagiarism. For more information on plagiarism, including suggestions on how to avoid it, see the following resource from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

As with other aspects of working with sources, it is important to follow your department’s specific guidelines about these skills.

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