Friday, 27 January 2017

Yes! Quotes need to be in speech marks!

I got asked by a student "Do all quotes need to be inside speech marks?".

To which I answered: Yes!!

Speech marks - double quotes - have to be used to clearly indicate that what we have included are 'others' words. The quote marks indicate that we are borrowing these words because we could not say this any better than the original author said it.

This then implies that anything not in quote marks is our own writing. If there is a citation, then the reader will know that we have simply reworded the author’s original ideas, and our reference clearly flags that we are drawing on that other person’s ideas. This is paraphrasing, which is really normal – it happens about 90% of the time.

Quoting only happens about 10% of the time. 

Also, when we quote from a numbered document, we include a page number. This enables our reader to go back to the exact spot and check our source for themselves. We can then share the learning.

So, by not using quote marks when using the actual words of others, we are unintentionally claiming that phrasing as our own. 

If we use a programme like TurnItIn to check our writing, if there is also a reference, TurnItIn will ignore everything after an open quote "...." to the close quote. All quotes are usually excluded from our similarity scores.

There is a great video by Dr Stephen Fox - an awesome 18 minutes of referencing clarity! - here, which is very enlightening. We can also view the Dr Seuss book that he talks about (if we need to) here.



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