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When writing a research paper, you must cite the ideas, information, arguments, phrases or any other intellectual or creative output by another person that you borrow. Not to do so is referred to as plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense that has severe academic consequences (see KPU's Policy ST2, Plagiarism and Cheating).
Why do we cite?
to distinguish previous from new thought
to give credit to the person whose ideas you used
to respect intellectual property
to help a reader locate the source(s) you used
to show that you have investigated your topic well
In deciding whether to run in or set off a quotation, length is usually the deciding factor.
In general, a short quotation, especially one that is not a full sentence, should be run in, "like this."
A hundred words or more (at least six to eight lines of text) can generally be set off as a block quotation.
A quotation of two or more paragraphs is best set off (see 13.22–24), as are quoted correspondence (if salutations, signatures, and such are included), lists, and any material that requires special formatting.
If many quotations of varying length occur close together, running them all in may make for easier reading. But where quotations are being compared or otherwise used as entities in themselves, it may be better to set them all as block quotations, however short.
Poetry is set off far more often than prose (see 13.25).
Changes allowed to quotes:
Although in a direct quotation the wording should be reproduced exactly, certain changes are generally permissible to make a passage fit into the syntax and typography of the surrounding text. For details on permissible changes to punctuation, capitalization and spelling, see part 13.7 of the manual.
Changes allowed to typogrophy and layout:
The following elements of typography and layout may be changed to assimilate a quotation to the surrounding text (13.8):
The typeface or font should be changed to agree with the surrounding text.
Words in full capitals in the original may be set in small caps, if that is the preferred style for the surrounding text.
In dialogue, names of speakers may be moved from a centered position to flush left.
Underlined words in a quoted manuscript may be printed as italics, unless the underlining itself is considered integral to the source or otherwise worthy of reproducing.