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A guide to help students and faculty understand and avoid plagiarism.


What is a Direct Quotation?:

Must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source. They must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author."  
Purdue University Online Writing Lab. (2012). Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

Use It:

  • If summarizing or paraphrasing cannot capture the essence or meaning of the text 
  • To retain a specific or unique phrasing used by the source's author
  • If you are analyzing the text itself (often in English or language classes)

Be Advised:

Most of the time when you cite a source, you want to summarize or paraphrase. Direct quotations should be used sparingly when the situation meets the criteria above.

When you do use direct quotations:

  • Do not take the quote out of context. The author's meaning should not change.
  • Be sure to integrate multiple sources within your text. You don't want to have a paper or a passage that seems to have come only from one source, with little original text from you.
  • Use transitions to make sure your quote adds to your paper without interrupting its flow.

How to Cite a Direct Quotation:

  • Place quotation marks around the entire word-for-word passage, whether it's a phrase or a sentence.
  • Attribute with an in-text citation; most citation styles request that you provide a page or paragraph number when directly citing.
  • If your quotation is longer, check with your citation style guide to see if additional formatting is necessary (block quotations, for example).


When and How Much to Quote
From the Harvard Guide to Using Sources

Quoting Video