Quoting is the easiest way to use sources, but it can lead to plagiarism if you’re not careful. When you quote a source,

  • Always place quotation marks around the notes you copy and paste; the computer does not know you are copying a direct quote unless you tell it.
  • Use a quote in your final draft when the author’s words are the best way to express the information. Some readers prefer paraphrases and summaries to quotations.
  • Be wary of long quotes. Too many long quotes will make your paper more someone else’s words than your own, and that’s plagiarism.
  • Never quote material that includes words you do not understand. If you do not know what a quotation means, you are plagiarizing an idea you don’t comprehend.
  • Use the citation style recommended by your professor or instructor for your course’s field of study. Sources are usually identified either by parenthetical citations (information in parentheses) or footnotes. A list of references, works cited, or a bibliography may also be included in the project or paper.