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Avoiding Plagiarism:  Quoting


When the words of an expert, authority, or relevant individual are particularly clear or expressive, you may want to quote them. Do not quote all the time; save quotes for instances where the wording is especially powerful.

When should I quote?

  • When language is particularly vivid or expressive.

  • When exact wording is needed for technical accuracy.

  • When the words of an important authority lend weight to an argument.

How do I show I am quoting?

  • Name the source in an introductory phrase.

  • Use quotation marks or indent long quotations.

  • Cite the source appropriately.
... If you fail to do this, it is plagiarism.

Original source
                       
Because of their unique perspective, Americans fear globalization less than anyone else, and, as a con­sequence, they think about it less than anyone else. When Americans do think about globalization, they think of the global economy as an enlarged version of the American economy.

Thurow, L. (1993).
Fortune Favors the Bold (p. 6). New York: Harper Collins.

Accurate quoting       

Lester Thurow (1993) asserts that the American reaction to globalization is different from that of the rest of world in that “Americans fear globalization less than anyone else, and as a consequence. . . think about it less than anyone else” (p. 6).

Why is this an appropriate use of a quote?

The writer has introduced the quotation with his/her own words and has indicated where exact words of the source begin and end. S/he has also named the source in an introductory phrase. (complete Thurow reference appears in bibliography)

An example of an inappropriate use of a quote

The American view of globalization is unlike that of the rest of the world. Because of their unique perspective, Americans fear globalization less than anyone else, and therefore think about it less than anyone else (Thurow, 1993).

Why is this inappropriate?

Although the writer has identified the source, s/he has not put quotation marks around his words, thereby allowing the reader to think the words are the writer’s, not Thurow’s.
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This guide has been adapted from one produced at MIT entitled Academic Integrity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:  A Handbook for Students.  We are grateful for their permission to use and revise the work for students at the University of Pennsylvania.

Written by Patricia Brennecke, Lecturer in English Language Studies
Edited by Professor Margery Resnick, Chair of the Committee on Discipline, and Joanne Straggas, Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education.  Prepared with the support of Professor Robert P. Redwine, Dean for Undergraduate Education at MIT.

Adapted in Fall 2006 for use by graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania and published as the Handbook for Students, Ethics and Original Research by Professor Barbara Fuchs, Romance Languages, Dr. James B. Lok, Professor of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Linda Meiberg, graduate student and Karen Lawrence, Assistant Director of Education.

This edition edited, amended and produced by:

The University Honor Council and the
Office of Student Conduct
University of Pennsylvania
Fall 2008