what: when quoting a source, use the author’s words verbatim, or word-for-word. this means you shouldn’t change any grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. put quotations around the words to tell your reader where the quote begins and where it ends.
you also need to acknowledge the author. for example, if using mla format for your research paper, you should have in-text citations with the author’s name and page number listed at the end of each quote.
when: use quotations to provide concrete examples to support your claims. using direct quotations is a great way to build your credibility on the subject. it’s also a good idea to quote your source when the author states things in a powerful way. if you think he or she said it best, then use the exact words to share the ideas.
example: in the short story “a jury of her peers”, mrs. hale compares mrs. wright to her caged bird, saying “she—come to think of it, she was kind of like a bird herself. real sweet and pretty, but kind of timid and—fluttery. how—she—did—change” (glaspell).
what: paraphrasing differs from quoting because you restate the passage in your own words. since you don’t use the author’s words, you don’t need to use quotation marks. however, you still need to acknowledge the author for his or her ideas.
when paraphrasing a text, you should communicate the full meaning of the text; don’t change the meaning. it can be a condensed version of the text, or it could end up being longer than the source it’s paraphrasing.
when: you use paraphrasing when you take notes, or explain a chart or diagram to someone. paraphrasing highlight the important parts of a larger text. it also allows you to simplify the ideas for your readers.
original: “it was no ordinary thing that called her away–it was probably further from ordinary than anything that had ever happened in dickson county. but what her eye took in was that her kitchen was in no shape for leaving: her bread all ready for mixing, half the flour sifted and half unsifted” (glaspell).
paraphrase: as mrs. hales walks around mrs. wright’s home, she notices that the kitchen is in disarray as if she was in the middle of baking bread (glaspell).