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Library - Information Literacy Module: Tutorial 4: Quoting

Information literacy for UJ students. Start with "1 Why Information Literacy" and end with "9 Writing & Referencing"

STEP 1: Quoting

Direct quotes show where another person's original thoughts, words, ideas, images etc have been used word-for-word in someone else's work.

  • It can be necessary to quote directly from the text when Neo cannot present the information more concisely or in any other way.
  • Need to present a particular portion of an author’s text in your work to analyse it. 

Note: Quotes should be used sparingly as over quoting can suggest a lack of understanding of the text you are referring to. 10% of quoting is the acceptable amount.

Neo should aim to paraphrase information provided by an author in his own words rather than quote large amounts of their work verbatim as this helps to demonstrate to the reader Neo's understanding of the information.

Remember: When paraphrasing Neo must still acknowledge the source!

When quoting portions of published text, Neo must make use of quotation marks to separate the quoted text from his own writing. For instance, if Neo wants to include a statement from a published work in his essay then the sentence(s) must be included within quotation marks and may be introduced by such phrases as:

"Language is subject to change and is not caused by unnecessary sloppiness, laziness or ignorance" (Aitchison, 1981:67).

Note: This is the format for quotations less than 3 lines.

For quotations longer than 3 lines (11 pt) the following format (block quote format) should be used:

Pieterse’s (1992:31) quote on the nature of the stereotype sheds some light on stereotype:

Stereotypes are based on simplification and generalisation, or the denial of individuality; they can be either
negative or positive. Though they may have no basis in reality, stereotypes are real in their social
consequences, notably with regard to the allocation of roles.