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Online Guide to Writing and Research

Academic Integrity and Documentation

Practicing Academic Integrity

Managing Source Material

Quoting Your Source

A quote is when you use the exact language, word for word, from the original source.

Use quotations in your writing when:

  • you need to invoke the authority of your source

  • you want to preserve the qualities of the written language 

  • the original material is so well phrased that a summary or paraphrase just won’t capture the ideas

Remember that you must give credit to the original source following the preferred style guide (e.g., APA, MLA, etc.) of your instructor and/or academic discipline. 

In the example below, the writer uses her own words to introduce and give the necessary context so the reader understands the quote. The quote supports the writer’s ideas and gives it authority. 


It is important for adults who raise or work with teenagers to understand that teenager’s emotional responses might be due to how their brains process information, because "even under calm conditions, the fast route to amygdala activation often occurs more readily in teens than in adults; the slow route is used more in adults” (Siegel, 2013, p. 107). In other words, teenagers’ responses are influenced by the route and speed at which the information is processed and the faster route limits the teenagers’ abilities to consider all information before responding. This can lead to more emotional reactions even when they had appeared calm right before receiving the information. 


Key Takeaways

  • Only use a direct quote when the original phrasing is best captured in the source’s original wording.
  • Provide context to the quote so your reader understands your reason for using the quote to support your ideas.
  • Give credit to the original source.

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Table of Contents: Online Guide to Writing