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Plagiarism- How to avoid: Writing direct quotations

tips for avoiding plagiarism
(content is from Best Practices for Research and Drafting section in Purdue University's Avoiding Plagiarism guide)

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Writing direct quotations

  • Keep the source author's name in the same sentence as the quote

  • Mark the quote with quotation marks, or set it off from your text in its own block, per the style guide your paper follows

  • Quote no more material than is necessary; if a short phrase from a source will suffice, don't quote an entire paragraph

  • To shorten quotes by removing extra information, use ellipsis points (...) to indicate omitted text, keeping in mind that:

    • In longer quotes where you have omitted a sentence in between other complete sentences, maintain terminal puncutation in between the ellipses. 

    • Example: "None of the national reports I saw made even passing references to inequality or segregation. . . . Booker T. Washington was cited with increasing frequency, Du Bois never, and Martin Luther King only with cautious selectivity." (Kozol 3).

  • To give context to a quote or otherwise add wording to it, place added words in brackets, ( [ ] ); be careful not to editorialize or make any additions that skew the original meaning of the quote—do that in your main text, e.g.,Use quotes that will have the most rhetorical, argumentative impact in your paper; too many direct quotes from sources may weaken your credibility, as though you have nothing to say yourself, and will certainly interfere with your style

    • OK: Kozol claims there are "savage inequalities" in our educational system, which is obvious.

    • WRONG: Kozol claims there are "[obvious] savage inequalities" in our educational system.

  • Use quotes that will have the most rhetorical, argumentative impact in your paper; too many direct quotes from sources may weaken your credibility, as though you have nothing to say yourself, and will certainly interfere with your style

Works Cited

Kozol, Jonathan. Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1992. Print.

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