Paraphrasing means that you explain something that you learned from a source in your own words. It does NOT mean that you cut and paste a quote from the source and then change two of the words. While you are typing the information that you are paraphrasing, put the original away so that you create your own sentences. You should paraphrase about 90 percent of the evidence you cite in your paper.
But, about ten percent of the time, the original source said it so well that you will want to quote the source. Whenever you take something word-for-word from a source, it must appear in quotation marks in your paper.
When you quote and when you paraphrase, you will cite the source, tell the reader where you got the information.
Quotations should be punctuated like this:
- Trayvon Alexander explains, “We are in this until the end” (2008).
- “Forty-seven percent of seniors ignored this warning” (Paulson, 2014).
- According to Michelle Washington, “Most of our customers aren’t interested in the nutritional content of the entrees we serve” (as cited in Smith, 2009).
The same information paraphrased would look something like this:
- Trayvon Alexander explained that the group is committed to seeing the process through to the end (2008).
- Almost half of the seniors did not heed the warning (Paulson, 2014).
- Michelle Washington explained that her customers aren’t concerned about the nutritional value of the food her restaurant serves (Smith, 2009).
- The quote is preceded by a comma.
- The first letter of the quote is capitalized because the quote is a complete sentence, which most of your quotes should be.
- There is no period until after the parenthetical citation at the end.
- The closing quotation marks come before the parenthetical citation at the end.