Technique 2: Follow the rules when copying directly from a text
There are times when you can quote directly from your source material. However, you
must follow certain rules.
- Direct copying of part of a passage (e.g. a whole paragraph) must occur rarely in your
writing and once copied should not represent a large proportion of your own text. It
should be clearly distinguished from the rest of your text in a way which makes it clear
that it is a quotation.
- Very short parts of a source text (e.g. part of a sentence) can be copied when needed.
However, the words that you have copied must be immediately obvious to your reader. You
must also take care not to change any of the words.
- The exact source of your quotation must be acknowledged. This must be done in a way
which shows clearly how much is copied (see below).
Examples of when you might want to copy directly are:
- when the exact words are relevant to your argument/discussion
- when something is expressed in a way which is unique
- when re-writing would cause a loss of impact
To be successful at direct quotation (copying) you
need to indicate two things:
- Exactly WHAT is copied.
- Exactly WHERE it is copied from (acknowledging your