When should I quote instead of paraphrasing?

To present information from other sources in academic writing, it’s best to paraphrase in most cases. This shows that you’ve understood the ideas you’re discussing and incorporates them into your text smoothly.

It’s appropriate to quote when:

  • Changing the phrasing would distort the meaning of the original text
  • You want to discuss the author’s language choices (e.g., in literary analysis)
  • You’re presenting a precise definition
  • You’re looking in depth at a specific claim