Quoting, Citing and Referencing

Quoting or Citing means using someone else’s exact words in your writing, while Referencing is the way we show where the person’s words came from.


Quoting/ citing and referencing are essential aspects of academic writing and publishing in general. When using another person’s words, we must always acknowledge this; not doing so is plagiarism, and is essentially illegal, as it infringes intellectual copyright. Here are some key points to remember:

Quoting/ citing:

  • Involves using the exact words from source material in your own writing
  • Requires the use of quotation marks (sometimes called citation marks) or other sign-posting to indicate that the words being used aren’t your own
  • Demands providing a quotation/ citation reference for the quoted/ cited material, including the author’s name, publication date, and page number(s)
  • Helps readers locate the original source of the information and ensures that you’re not committing plagiarism


  • Involves giving credit to the original author or source of information used in your writing
  • Requires specific citation styles, such as APA, MLA, and Chicago
  • Has formatting guidelines for different types of sources, such as books, journal articles, websites, and more
  • Is necessary for both direct quotes and paraphrased information or ideas borrowed from another source
  • Does not require quotation marks but still demands appropriate citations

Overall, quoting and referencing play a crucial role in maintaining academic integrity and ensuring that your work is accurate, credible, and ethical.

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