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MLA Style 8th Edition: Direct Quotes, Paraphrasing, & Summarizing

WCCC's Guide to MLA Style

The Basics

Quoting, Paraphrasing, Summarizing

You already know that you need to use various kinds of resources when you are researching.  Now things can get a little more complicated when trying to use those resources in your assignments.

We find that most students accidently plagiarize because they don’t know how to correctly quote, paraphrase, and/or summarize information they are trying to incorporate into their papers.  Or how and when to cite things. 

So, what's the difference?

(Venn_quote, n.d.)

Direct Quotes 

Quotes are the exact words that the author has used, word for word.  When quoting, you must use quotation marks and include an in-text citation

According to the MLA Handbook, quotes should be "used selectively" and should "be as brief as possible" (75). 

Rather, most professors prefer you to paraphrase or summarize information from your source because it demonstrates that you really understand what you're writing about.  

 

Paraphrasing 

Paraphrasing means putting the information you could have quoted into your own words, but keeping the intention of the original source.  Paraphrases do not have quotation marks because you are using your own words, yet still must include an in-text citation at the end of the part you are paraphrasing. 

 

Summarizing

When you summarize information, it's really a shorter version of the original source where you relate the overall meaning from the source.  Like when paraphrasing, when you summarize you must still include an in-text citation at the end of the part you are summarizing.    

Works Cited

Works Cited 

The Modern Language Association of America.  MLA Handbook, 8th edition.  The Modern Language Association of America, 2016.  

"Venn_quote." Dallas Learning Cloud, n.d., dlc.dcccd.edu/embed.php?key=dcccd+1dcccd234+englishcomp1rlc-units/quoting-paraphrasing-and-summarizing.  Accessed 9 Sep 2019.  

Additional Resources

Warren County Community College
Haytaian & Maier Library
475 Route 57 West
Washington, New Jersey 07882
908.835.2336 wccclibrary@warren.edu

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