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Direct Quotes, Block Quotes, and Paraphrasing

When should you use direct quotes?

Direct quotes are when you borrow another persons words and should only be used if: Language is especially vivid or expressive Exact wording is needed for technical accuracy It is important to let the debaters of an issue explain their positions in their own words The words of an authority lend weight to an argument The language of a source is the topic of your discussion (an analysis or interpretation)

Be careful to avoid dropped quotes (when you dont explain who gave the information in a signal quote. Dropped Quote: i.e.: You want to be careful who you drop houses on: their sister may be a real witch. *g+et you, my pretty! And your little dog, too! (Wicked Witch) Signal Quote: i.e.: You want to be careful who you drop houses on: their sister may be a real witch. As the Wicked Witch of the West warned, shell get you, my pretty! And your little dog, too! (Wicked Witch)

Ellipsis Mark and Brackets

Use an ellipsis mark to condense a quoted passage (three periods) to let the reader know that words have been left out i.e.: Hey I just met youcall me maybe? i.e.: Hey I just met youbut heres my number Use brackets when you need to insert your own words into quoted material (like keeping a quote grammatically correct) i.e.: She explains that this is crazy *she just met you]

Block Quotes
Block quotes (or long quotations) are when you quote more than four typed lines of prose or more than three lines of poetry. You set off the quotation by indenting it one inch from the left margin. An informative sentence usually sets it off, typically a colon follows. Quotation marks are not needed because the indentation lets readers know it is a block quote.

Block Quote Example:

In August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. Stated: Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice (qtd. in Harlowe 266).

Paraphrases are used when a direct quote is not needed because the writer can transfer the information in their own words. Paraphrases are typically the same number of words as the original quote, but are reworked and rearranged in the words of the new writer. This does NOT mean that you should swap synonyms with the authors original wording.

Paraphrasing Examples
One of these examples is acceptable, and the other is plagiarism. Which is which? In earlier times, surveillance was limited to information that a supervisor could observe and record firsthand and to primitive counting devices. In the computer age surveillance can be instantaneous, unblinking, cheap, and, maybe most importantly, easy.

Scholars Carl Botan and Mihaela Vorvoreanu argue that in earlier times monitoring of employees was restricted to the information that a supervisor could observe and record firsthand. In the modern era, monitoring can be instantaneous, inexpensive, and, most importantly, easy (126).

Scholars Carl Botan and Mihaela Vorvoreanu claim that the nature of workplace surveillance has changed over time. Before the arrival of computers, managers could collect only small amounts of information about their employees based on what they saw or heard. Now, because computers are standard workplace technology, employers can monitor employees efficiently (126).

Paraphrasing Exercise
Being able to paraphrase is an important part of collaborating with sources. Try to put the following passage into your own words without using any of the language or sentence structure used by the author(s) of the passage (this particular passage came from the About Us section on the American Red Crosss Web site). Write your paraphrase on a separate piece of paper. After you finish, compare your paraphrase with someone sitting next to you:

Since its founding in 1881 by visionary leader Clara Barton, the American Red Cross has been the nation's premier emergency response organization. As part of a worldwide movement that offers neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war, the American Red Cross distinguishes itself by also aiding victims of devastating natural disasters. Over the years, the organization has expanded its services, always with the aim of preventing and relieving suffering. Today, in addition to domestic disaster relief, the American Red Cross offers compassionate services in five other areas: community services that help the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; the collection, processing and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs.
Info: Author-American Red Cross, Page-paragraphs one and two