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Citing Sources

Referencing, avoiding plagiarism, and presentation of the Chicago Style


Quoting means citing a resource verbatim, that is to say, without making any changes. Any changes must be indicated in square brackets. Students should be careful not to change the meaning of the text or misrepresent the author's ideas.

  • Use [...] to omit a part of the text
  • If the subject of the sentence is outside the quotation, add it in square brackets: "It [the State] must take the necessary measures...]
  • Underlined, bold or italic characters not present in the original text must be indicated ("emphasis by author").


Paraphrasing means restating the content of a passage in your own words: you are supposed to change the structure of the sentence, and use different words from the original passage where possible. Here is two videos (one very short, one longer) with examples.

University of Guelph McLaughlin Library, CC BY-NC-SA

University of Maryland, Baltimore Writing Center


Some recommendations for a paraphrase:

  1. Read the passage several times, make sure you understand it well
  2. Take notes
  3. Close the book to write your paraphrase
  4. Change the order of ideas
  5. Break long sentences into several short ones, simplify. Change from the active to the passive voice or vice-versa
  6. At the end of the process, compare your version with the original version, to make sure they are different enough

Be careful not to change the meaning of the passage. Of course, you must always add the source at the end of your paraphrase.


Summarising means restating the passage in your own words, by making it very short, keeping only the main points.