Skip to Main Content

Succeeding with Writing Assignments

A general guide for writing a paper in any course

Quoting, Paraphrasing, & Summarizing

Incorporate Sources by Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarizing

Three Basic Steps for using sources effectively:

1. Introduce the Material using a signal phrase

Author + Verb = Signal Phrase

Verb Choices

acknowledges admits advises agrees argues asserts believes
claims concludes contends concurs confirms criticizes


disagrees discusses disputes emphasizes explains observes offers
opposes replies reports responds reveals suggests writes

2. Present material by quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing 

Direct Quotation These are phrases, sentences, or paragraphs that are copied word for word from someone else's writing. When using direct quotations, enclose the words in quotation marks. Use very few direct quotes. Use a quote to highlight or emphasize something you do not want to paraphrase like a quote that is derogatory and seeing the words verbatim is important for the writing.

This means to take material from an original sources and put it into your own words. Tips for paraphrasing

  • read the original material until you understand it fully.
  • Without looking at the original material, write your paraphrase
  • Compare your paraphrase to the original material to be sure that your paraphrase contains all the important information from the original but written in your own words.
  • It should be about the same length of the original.
  • If you use a paraphrase in your writing, be sure your version accurately expresses the main idea but in a new form.
Summarize Read the original material then put the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main points.

3. Cite your source: ​​go to

Additional Sources

Still Confused? Get Help

Profile Photo
Kristine Korey-Smith
Library 209