Showing the conversation through Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

Quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing are other ways to show the conversation

In addition to in-text citations, writers summarize, paraphrase, or quote sources. Writers use clues to indicate to their reader that something is not their (the author’s) own idea – the presence or absence of quotation marks and in-text citations.

When the reader sees:

Citation AND Quotation Marks

This means that this is someone else’s information in that person’s exact words.

For example, this sentence from Myrick’s article states

Research on general motivations for media use also points to procrastination as a reason why individuals watch entertainment media. To procrastinate is to “voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay” (p. 66, Steel, 2007).

Myrick is using Steel’s exact words to define a term. If you went to Steel’s article, you should find that “quote” on page 66.


Citation AND NO Quotation Marks

The next way involves a citation, but no quotation marks. This means that the author has paraphrased or summarized someone else’s work.

This scholarly article demonstrates how:

However, the strongest predictors of enjoyment were Internet cat viewing frequency and experiencing positive emotions post-viewing. The link between frequency of viewing, positive emotions, and enjoyment could be explained as a mere exposure effect (Zajonc, 1980). That is, the more one watches, the more one enjoys Internet cats. Likewise, operant conditioning could be happening, as suggested by MMT (Zillmann, 1988), such that Internet users become quickly conditioned to expect positive emotional outcomes from viewing Internet cats.
The parenthetical citation at the end of each of the emphasized sentences shows that the author is using the work of someone else. The author summarized a point from Zajonc’s 1980 work and also Zillmann’s 1988 study. You would need to dig through (read) both of these works to find more about these points.

NO Citation +NO Quotation Marks

When someone sees no in-text citation and no quotation marks, they assume that the words are those of the author, not the work of anyone else.

For example, in many conclusions or discussions in a scholarly article, you won’t see citations, because the author is reporting on their own part of the scholarly conversation.

This study found that cat-related content is a popular form of online media with the potential to improve users’ moods or to delay more important tasks. The results of this survey provide valuable insights as to why Internet users so frequently view online cat-related content, which users are more likely to enjoy such content, what emotional benefits and drawbacks are associated with this viewing, and the relationship between procrastination, guilt, and happiness in impacting enjoyment of entertainment media.


There are no quotation marks or in-text citation in this paragraph. This shows that the words used here are the author’s alone.

Next, learn more about quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing →


Myrick, Jessica Gall. “Emotion Regulation, Procrastination, and Watching Cat Videos Online: Who Watches Internet Cats, Why, and to What Effect?” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 52, no. C, 2015, pp. 168–176.



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