[dropcap]U[/dropcap]sing outside sources in your writing is a great way to solidify the overall quality of your writing and add credibility to your thoughts and arguments. There are three ways to incorporate sources into your writing: direct quotes (verbatim), paraphrasing and summarizing (see our tutorial on how to effectively paraphrase and summarize quotes). One, however, must ensure that these quotes, paraphrases and summaries are effectively incorporated with the writing for an efficient and smooth flow of ideas and that they are correctly cited to avoid plagiarism. Quotations may be used in various section of your writing: in the introduction as a hook to get your audience excited about your paper, in the body paragraphs as support for your main ideas and even in the conclusion to refer back to your main thesis.
The first step towards using an outside source in your essay or research paper is to have a good understanding of that statement or idea. Using the wrong quote may have the opposite effect, which may diminish the quality of your paper. You must also ensure that each of your quotations has a specific purpose, such highlighting a point of view, an opposite perspective, providing a supporting argument, discussing implications…etc. Lastly, it is important to quote from reliable and authoritative sources such as published authors and field experts. Blogs and wikis such as Wikipedia are not considered reliable sources since the identity of the original author cannot be verified. It is generally acceptable to quote from respected Internet sources like the New York Times website, but you must always check with your professor first to ensure that she/he is accepting digital sources. For graduate theses and final dissertations, it is the norm to use mainly peer-reviewed sources.
[box]Introducing a Quotation[/box]
As we mentioned earlier, quotations and paraphrases must not be imposed on your writing. Instead, your own words, and the words from the sources you are quoting, must blend in nicely with one another in order to create a sense of cohesion and flow in your writing style. This may be a bit challenging for most college students, especially non-native speakers. The good news is there is a simple strategy that work quite well if used correctly: a signal phrase.
Signal phrases are words and short phrases that help you introduce a quote by giving your reader a sense of who the author is and hinting to the gist of the quote. For example, if the author of the quote is interpreting an idea or making a suggestion, you may use a signal phrase that conveys that particular meaning: Ex. proposes, speculates, reveals, suggests…etc.
These are some of the most commonly used used signal phrases:
Author agreeing: agrees, concedes, admits, concurs.
Author disagreeing or being critical: deplores, warns, laments, condemns, disagrees deprecates, refutes, rejects.
Author arguing or making claims: argues, contends, maintains, insists, holds.
Author interpreting: suggests, reveals, shows, speculates, supposes, predicts.
Author being neutral: reports, observes, illustrates, points out, states, comments, notes.
While the above list is not comprehensive, it is definitely a good starting point to get you started with incorporating signal phrases with your quotations. As for punctuation, only use commas and colons after your signal phrase. Never use a semi-colon. Another option is to use a relative pronoun as shown in the example below:
Without a signal phrase:
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding this issue. “ Traditional activities are heavily determined by culture, but modern office practices, manufacturing, communication, financial accounts and transportation are dominated by the technology used to accomplish them.” (Norman).
With a signal phrase:
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding this issue. In his essay on the role of culture in modern product design, Donald Norman argues, (that) “ Traditional activities are heavily determined by culture, but modern office practices, manufacturing, communication, financial accounts and transportation are dominated by the technology used to accomplish them.” (Norman). While, there is some truth to this argument, one must also note that technology is gradually invading almost every facet of our lives, including cultural norms and traditions.
There is no particular rule regarding the length of a quotations. You have the freedom to quote a word or multiple paragraphs as long as your quotation serves a specific function and is well incorporated with your writing. In both the MLA and APA styles, longer quotes are used without quotation marks with the body of the text placed in the center of the page, and indented on both sides as in the example below
There are other steps you can take. Moist heat relieves pain.
Try hot packs, warm baths, heating pads, or whirlpool baths
at a physiotherapy clinic. Gentle massage is beneficial too.
Some patients are helped by TENS, transcutaneous
electrical nerve stimulation (electrodes applied to the body
stimulate nerve and relieve pain). I encourages patients with
FMS to try anything that reduces stress such as meditational
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