Citing a summary

Citing a summary


Many students have come to me and asked: "Miss, do I still have to cite things if I put them in my own words?"

The answer, irrevocably, unchangedly, resoundingly, is YES. Yes you do. Because otherwise I don't know that those are someone else's ideas that you're just summarizing. 

"But Miss, I can't cite anything because I just read a bunch of articles and then put it together in my own words-- all the ideas are mixed up together."

Sorry guys, I'm not trying to be a big jerk, HOWEVER, you've got a problem, 'cause you HAVE to cite the articles you got the ideas from. 

ONE EXCEPTION: Information that is considered "in the public domain", that you've put into your own words. Check outthis article if you think your information qualifies.

How Do I Cite A Summary or Paraphrase?Edit

Pretty much the same way you cite anything else.  After your summary or paraphrase, you put the authors last name and page number in brackets. If NO author, then the article title. 

Purdue OWL has this example to share: 

"The original passage:

Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.

A legitimate paraphrase:

In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).

An acceptable summary:

Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 46-47).

A plagiarized version

Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of the final copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit the amount of source material copied while taking notes.

" (Purdue OWL)

The plagiarized version is plagiarized because it's essentially the same sentences after someone used a thesaurus. It's not really in your own words. AND, it doesn't have (Lester 46-47) in brackets!! It wasn't cited at all! Terrible, terrible. 

Still don't get it? Edit

Ok, here's some links for help.

What is NOT plagiarism


More Examples!!

Tips on Paraphrasing

Why Paraphrase?

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