Last update 3/13/2020
Visual: Screen opens to a background image with a person typing on a laptop and a notebook and pencil, along with the Walden University Writing Center logo. The title Walden University Writing Center and tagline “Your writing, grammar, and APA experts” appears on the screen. The screen changes to show the series title “Academic Writing for Multilingual Students” and the video title “Cites Ideas From Other Sources.”
Audio: Guitar music
Visual: The screen opens to the following slides: Cite Ideas From Other Sources
A collective versus an individual approach to writing.
Citations can be direct quotations or paraphrases.
In APA, use paraphrases instead of direct quotations whenever possible.
Audio: In American Academic English, it is necessary to cite ideas that come from other sources. This expectation may be different than what you are used to, depending on your cultural background. Some cultures have a more collectivist approach to writing. In these cultures, the writer may use ideas and quotations from other seminal sources or historical sources without citation. In other cultures, this approach shows that the writer is well read, and the writer assumes that the reader will have the same background; in other words, it is assumed that the reader has read the same sources. If these sources were cited, it might be considered an insult to the intelligence of the reader. Furthermore, the way in which the writer is able to take and combine these previous sources into their own writing demonstrates sophistication in the writing.
Other cultures, such as the academic culture in the United States, have a more individual approach to writing. The ideas of other authors are seen as their intellectual property, and therefore, they must be cited within the text. In this culture, citations show respect to the original author. They also show the reader that the writer is well researched and credible. If the sources are not cited, or are not cited properly, this is plagiarism. In the United States, where there is so much emphasis on the individual, plagiarism is a serious offense, and in some educational contexts can result in serious consequences for the student writer.
There are two ways to include source material within your writing: a direct quotation and a paraphrase. In a direct quotation, writers use the original words of the author and copy and paste them into their writing. In a paraphrase, writers change the words and sentence structure from the original source, but the ideas still come from the source, not the writer of the current text. In both cases, citations are necessary to show where ideas are coming from and which sources a writer is using in their writing. Keep in mind that APA documentation style prefers paraphrases over direct quotations. Use direct quotations sparingly or not at all, and again, remember to cite both paraphrases and direct quotations in your writing.
Visual: The slide changes to the following: Direct Quotation & Paraphrase Examples
“To encourage business owners, large and small alike, to use social media as a marketing platform, several social media companies have developed business-specific tools or made it possible to brand an online profile to a business” (Geho & Dangelo, 2012, p. 1).
Small business owners can develop a Facebook business page to establish an online presence, which could bring in thousands of potential customers at a low cost (Geho & Dangelo, 2012).
Audio: Let’s take a look at an example of both a direct quotation and a paraphrase. The direct quotation reads as follows: “To encourage business owners, large and small alike, to use social media as a marketing platform, several social media companies have developed business-specific tools or made it possible to brand an online profile to a business.” This example sentence has quotation marks around it so that it is clear to the reader that the words here come from another author, and it includes a full citation to the source’s authors and year.
The paraphrase of this direct quotation reads as follows: “Small business owners can develop a Facebook business page to establish an online presence, which could bring in thousands of potential customers at a low cost.” This paraphrase does not have quotation marks around it because the language and sentence structure have been changed from the original. However, it still includes a citation with the source’s authors and year.
Whenever in doubt about how or whether to a cite a source or incorporate a quotation or paraphrase, ask your faculty, and our recommendation is to err on the side of caution. While APA wants us to achieve a balance in citations, if you’re not sure, it can be better to include a citation than leaving one out.
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