FORMS OF TEXTUAL EVIDENCE
FORMS OF TEXTUAL EVIDENCE
When sharing specific ideas from a source, a writer has a choice between direct quotes and paraphrasing. A direct quote is essentially an exact copy of an author's language to use as evidence or as an object for analysis. A paraphrase is a the writer's rephrasing of an author's idea.
The choice between sharing ideas through direct quotes or paraphrasing is sometimes dictacted by the genre or discipline in which the writer is operating. For instance, Speech Language Pathology and its instructors prefer paraphrasing.
Doing either improperly could result in plagiarism. To learn how to quote and paraphrase effectively and honestly, review the examples and resources below.
- Direct quote
“It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times” -- one of the most famous quotes to ever start a novel. This quote originated from John Steinbeck’s “Tale of Two Cities” and accurately depicts the experiences of many people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original Text: In laboratory settings, fake news discernment is assessed by having participants judge the accuracy of a set of true and false news headlines.
Paraphrase: Researchers examine fake news discernment, in laboratory settings, by measuring participant’s accuracy ratings of true and false news headlines (Calvillo et al., 2021).
- CSUSM WC - Paraphrasing (pdf)
- Purdue OWL Paraphrasing Steps (web)
- MIT Avoiding Plagiarism by Paraphrasing (web)
- University of Arizona Global Campus Quoting, Paraphrasing, Summarizing (web)
- Las Positas College Paraphrasing (web)
PRESENTING TEXTUAL EVIDENCE
Block quotes are longer quotations that are offset within paragraphs. APA, MLA, and other formats have rules about how many lines or words a quote must be to necessitate a block quote. Too many (and sometimes any) block quotes may be inappropriate for the genre or unwelcome by your instructor.
Signal phrases introduce quotes and paraphrasing. Direct qoutes that have no signal phrases are known as floating quotations, which are unfavorable.
- OWL Purdue - Signal Phrases in APA and MLA
- IUP Writing Center - Signal Phrases in MLA
- The Tutoring Center - Introducing Evidence
Square brackets allow writers to alter or insert text direct quotes for the purpose of clarifying. A writer has to be very carefuly when using square brackets. Misuse of them can result in an unethical and misleading presentation of evidence.
See our Format page to find information about specific in-text citations for APA, ASA, Chicago, CSE, and MLA formats.