Quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing vs plagiarizing

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Quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing vs. plagiarizing.

Why are they important?

  • Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing are all important because writers need to support their thesis statement with relevant and credible details, facts, and examples.

What is plagiarism?

  • Definition-Plagiarism is the act of taking another person's writing, conversation, song, or even idea and passing it off as your own. This includes information from web pages, books, songs, television shows, email messages, interviews, articles, artworks or any other medium.
  • So what, no one will find out? Right?
  • -Students have been kicked out of college for being found guilty of plagiarism.
  • -Schools, including East High, use turnitin.com, which automatically runs your essay against every other essay on the web.

Example of plagiarizing-What line was plagiarized?

  • Original Source Material: Technology has significantly transformed education at several major turning points in our history. In the broadest sense, the first technology was the primitive modes of communication used by prehistoric people before the development of spoken language. Mime, gestures, grunts, and drawing of figures in the sand with a stick were methods used to communicate -- yes, even to educate. Even without speech, these prehistoric people were able to teach their young how to catch animals for food, what animals to avoid, which vegetation was good to eat and which was poisonous.
  • Plagiarized Version: In examining technology, we have to remember that computers are not the first technology people have had to deal with. The first technology was the primitive modes of communication used by prehistoric people before the development of spoken language.

How to avoid it.

  • 1. Plan out your essay using an organizer.
  • 2. Select credible sources to reinforce your thesis statement.
  • 3. Learn how to quote, paraphrase, and summarize. If you didn’t write it, you need to cite it.

Verbs to introduce summaries, paraphrases, and quotes (backside of paper)

  • Why? Verbs can be used to introduce summaries, paraphrases, and quotations that indicate the author’s point of view on the topic.
  • Fill in the blank-Write this sentence down, then choose a verb from below to fill in the blank.
  • “ Joe Smith__________ that the flood might have been disastrous.”
  • Verb choices when the author is neutral about your thesis-comments, describes, explains, illustrates, notes, or observes.
  • Verb choices when the author implies something that agrees with your thesis-finds, predicts, proposes, reveals, or suggests.
  • Verb choices when the author agrees with your thesis-admits or agrees.


  • Choosing a small word for word portion from a source that supports your thesis statement and still gives credit to the original author.
  • Example quotation: According to Roger Sipher, a sociologist at Harvard, a solution to the perceived crisis of American education is to "Abolish compulsory-attendance laws and allow only those who are committed to getting an education to attend.”

How to quote

  • 1st read the passage.
  • 2nd decide if anything from the passage would support your thesis statement or main idea.
  • 3rd introduce the material by stating your point.
  • Example-Although pit bulls have a bad reputation, they can be trained to be friendly.
  • 4-Finally, add your quote for support. This does not need to be the whole sentence. You have to introduce the person who wrote the quote by stating what their job or title is, then use one of these words on the next page to help introduce the quote.
  • Paul Tullis, an columnist at Time magazine, states that, “Outreach efforts at decidedly gentle settings like schools and nursing homes, these advocates are making the case that pit bulls are no more dangerous than any other furry friend.”

Use a quote from this passage to back up this thesis statement. Put on the back of the paper.

  • Thesis Statement: Although pit bulls are thought to be dangerous, they can be friendly if raised correctly.
  • Find a quote from the website to back up the thesis. Don’t forget to include the author’s name and job title. If there is no author, include the company or association that wrote it.
  • http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/truth-about-pit-bulls


  • Putting a passage into your own words, still giving credit to the original author.
  • Example paraphrase-Write the paraphrase only.
  • Original: Giraffes like Acacia leaves and hay and they can consume 75 pounds of food a day.
  • Paraphrase: A giraffe can eat up to 75 pounds of Acacia leaves and hay everyday. 

How to paraphrase

  • 1st read the passage
  • 2nd write down the main ideas.
  • 3rd use the same ideas, but change it into your own words and sentence structure. You must still give credit to the original author.

Paraphrase this examples on the back of your paper.

  • Annie Oakley's life spanned years of tremendous change for American women. By the time of her death in 1926, Americans were celebrating the liberated, urban focused, modern times of the Jazz Age. Women had won the right to vote, wore less restrictive clothes, and followed a changing ideal that was loosening some of the restrictions on women's roles and behavior that had reigned through the nineteenth century.


  • Putting the main idea and supporting details into your own words while still giving credit to the original author.
  • Example summary-For an example of a summary, write down this website.
  • Purdue OWL: Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
  • Then go to it to see an example on school attendance.

How to summarize

  • 1st-read the passage.
  • 2nd-determine what the thesis statement is.
  • 3rd-figure what the 3 supporting details are. Usually the body paragraphs are the topics for the supporting details.
  • 4th-organize your ideas into a paragraph without changing the author’s original meaning.

Summarize this example.

  • Knowing how to argue is a useful skill. We use it on ourselves in order to arrive at decisions; we use it with others as we discuss business strategies or policy changes on committees, as members of the local PTA, a law office, an environmental action group; we use it as fundraisers for a cause, like saving whales, we use it in applying for foundation grants and in drafting a letter to the editor of our hometown paper; we use it when we discuss child abuse, toxic waste, tax cuts, pothole repair, working mothers, and university investment policies. Our ability to express opinions persuasively—to present our views systematically as arguments—will allow us to make some difference in public life. If we lack the necessary skills, we are condemned to sit on the sidelines. Instead of doing the moving, we will be among the moved; more persuasive voices will convince us of what me must do. (pp. 222-223)
  • Thesis Statement-
  • Detail #1
  • Detail #2
  • Detail #3

Use a combination of at least 3-5 citations, summaries, and paraphrases in your expository essay.

  • What do I do next?
  • Use a combination of at least 3-5 citations, summaries, and paraphrases in your expository essay.
  • Remember to use relevant and credible sources. You need to complete the source credibility sheet for each source. If you need more spaces for sources, print off another sheet from my website.

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