How to Use Sources in Writing: Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

 Learn when to use each method of integrating source material into your writing.

Quoting means using a source’s exact words. Paraphrasing means phrasing a source’s ideas in your own words. Summarizing means identifying the main idea or purpose of a source. All three ways to integrate source material are useful, but which one to use depends on the characteristics of your writing task and the source itself.

To learn how to determine the best method for each use of source material, start with this collection of resources: Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Basics.

For more advanced information on how to use sources strategically and rhetorically, see these resources: Reading and Writing from Sources.

Important note: Regardless of whether you are quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing, all uses of source material must be cited!

Related articles: How to Cite in MLA Style (8th ed.), How to Cite in APA Style (6th ed.), How to Cite in Chicago Style (16th ed.), How to Cite in CSE Style (8th ed.), How to Read, Write, and Organize in a Digital Environment


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