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APA Citation Guide for the 7th ed: Using Information

Synthesizing Information

Avoid Plagiarism [video]

Direct quotes versus paraphrasing

You can use both direct quotes, or quotes taken word-for-word from the source, or paraphrasing, or information from the source whose meaning is the same but is written in your own words. However, please note that APA prefers paraphrasing over direct quotes.

Direct quotes

If you use a direct quote, make sure you put it in quotation marks " ". If you include a word-for-word direct quote in your paper that is not in quotation marks, it is PLAGIARISM, even if you have provided an in-text citation.


It is important to know how to paraphrase properly so that you do not plagiarize your sources' content. To paraphrase, follow the steps below:

  • Read the original text until you grasp its meaning; then set it aside.
  • Using your memory, write down the main points or concepts. Do not copy the text verbatim.
  • Change the structure of the text by varying the opening, changing the order of sentences, lengthening or shortening sentences, etc.
  • Replace keywords within the sentences with synonyms or phrases with similar meanings.
  • Check your notes against the original to ensure you have not accidentally plagiarized.

More helpful resources on academic writing from Purdue's Online Writing Lab.