Question: When you have to provide “evidence” in your writing or “details,” just where exactly does that come from?

Answer: Evidence and details come from a text you’re reading. It could be in print or online. Wherever you’re reading it, this text is called a “source,” and you can’t just copy it word-for-word otherwise you’re committing “plagiarism.”

There are three ways you can use information from someone else’s writing without committing plagiarism. You can summarize, paraphrase, or quote the information you need.



A summary is a BRIEF restatement of a main idea or detail. It’s SHORTER than a paraphrase.



A paraphrase is a rewording or restatement of a passage. Think of it as a LONG summary of a LARGE part of text. It’s information you’re putting into your own words. You might paraphrase a couple of paragraphs in a book or an entire section composed of several paragraphs in a book or web article.



A quote is when you use a “brief excerpt” from a source exactly as it was stated. You MUST put the quote inside quotation marks. This shows the wording is not yours but the work of another author.


Here are a few tools that will help with summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting.

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LINK TO DOCUMENT ABOVE paraphrase,summarize,quote stems


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LINK TO DOCUMENT ABOVE sentence stems for paraphrasing