Quotes versus Paraphrase

Posted by Splice, Essay Tips Chief Writer

Quotes Versus Paraphrase. What are the differences between a quote and a paraphrase? To begin with, a quote—or, more precisely, a direct quote—is a phrase , sentence, or an entire paragraph that is an original or exact reproduction or copy of the original text. It begins and ends with quotation (“ ”) marks, signifying that the quoted line is borrowed from another source. On the other hand, a paraphrase is an interpretation or restatement of an idea taken from another text. Note, however, that both direct quotes and paraphrases require proper attribution, which means that the sources from which they were taken should be properly cited. Whether it is a quote or a paraphrase, in-text citation is required as a rule.

Basically, the difference a quote and a paraphrase is on how the borrowed text is reproduced in another essay. If the borrowed text is reproduced or written as they appear from the original source, the reproduced text is then called a direct quote which is marked by quotations (“ ”). If, on the other hand, the borrowed text is rewritten differently or the same idea is written through the use of approximately similar terms or words, the reproduced text is then called a paraphrase. Thus, to quote essentially means to copy as is without changing anything. To paraphrase, therefore, means to rewrite or reword the original text.

If you intend to quote a passage from, say, a book or a journal article, put your chosen passage in quotation marks and cite the source right after the quoted passage. For example, if the original text says Globalization has widened the disparity between the rich and the poor, quote it in your essay by writing down Globalization has widened the disparity between the rich and the poor (Bakersfield, p. 34). Note the quotation marks and the citation after the quoted line.

On the other hand, if you intend to paraphrase a certain line from a book chapter or a paragraph in an essay, rewrite or reword the passage as you see fit but still retaining the essence of or the main point or idea of the passage. Then, place a citation after the paraphrase. For example, if the original text says Globalization has widened the disparity between the rich and the poor, you may rewrite the passage in this way: The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer because of globalization (Bakersfield, p. 34).

As to which between a quote and a paraphrase is better, the answer relatively depends on your preference. There are no rules stating when to use a paraphrase or a direct quote, unless your teacher or your course dictates you to choose either one or both of them. A bit of information that may be of good use: you may paraphrase a direct quote from another text, and you may quote a paraphrase from another source.

You may want to read how to paraphrase, some paraphrasing samples, how to paraphrase a poem, what is paraphrasing, or how to paraphrase a direct quote.

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