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Academic Integrity

Basic Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism


Quoting is using the exact words of an author in your work to support your ideas. You may quote from a phrase, part of a sentence, or a short passage, but you should use them sparingly. Identify all words and phrases borrowed from sources by enclosing them within quotation marks “ ... ”.

Quotations Use

Use quotations in the following situations:

  • When the wording is so specific to the meaning that you cannot change the wording without changing the meaning.
  • When the wording is poetic or unique, and you want to maintain that unique quality of wording as part of the point you are making. This guideline may also apply when the wording is highly technically-specific.
  • When you are doing a critical/literary analysis of a text.
  • When you want to maintain the specific authority of the words of a well-known or highly-reputable author in order to add to the credibility of your own argument.
  • In most other cases, you should use your own words, a summary, or a paraphrase of your source, to make your point.

Tips for Quoting

The following handout provides tips to help you smoothly incorporate quotations into your paper.

Quoting Smoothly by the William & Mary Writing Resources Center is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International.  (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)