Quoting another author’s exact words is particularly appropriate when they express an idea or give a description in a particularly powerful and unique way. Quotations can be used to:
- provide evidence that supports your point
- add an important detail to your text
- help highlight a point you have made
- give authority to your point.
However, it is inappropriate to include a large number of quotations in assignments. This is because tutors are mainly interested in seeing how students talk about the things they have learned and how they apply theories and interpret information. If students do so by mainly using somebody else’s words, they will not be able to display their understanding very effectively.
When writing quotations, make sure you follow these guidelines:
- the quotation contains the exact words used by the author
- the quoted text is placed within inverted commas
- the quoted text fits grammatically in the text
- the meanings expressed by the original author are not changed
- the author of the quoted text is acknowledged.
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