Notes 5

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing; Paraphrasing

These two subpages from Owl Purdue’s online writing lab answers all the questions you could ever have about quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Quotations are identical to the original. They are verbatim, which means word for word. Just don’t over quote we want the writing to remain yours. When you use a quote DO NOT forget to cite your source. It is a really important thing to do and it doesn’t matter the kind of writing it is. Lets move on to Paraphrasing. “Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source material into your own words” (Brizee & Driscoll, 2013, p.3). <–Hey look a quote and its citation! Paraphrasing in just putting it into your own words. Just like a quote DO NOT forget to cite you source. Now a summary is supposed to be short and to the point. A summary highlights the topic and the meaning of the text by stating the main points. And just like using a quote or paraphrasing DO NOT forget to cite you source. A writer uses quotations, paraphrasing, and summaries to add credibility to their writing (Ethos).

 How close is my writing to my source’s? When do I use quotations? When is it okay to just paraphrase? What about summaries? AHHHHHHH! I personally already knew this information. It’s all been pretty redundant and that’s probably the point. But if you read the same thing over and over again you will eventually stop reading it. When I can’t explain the point any better than the original author, if the meaning gets lost in my own words, or to even add ethos to my writing, I use a quotation. Paraphrasing is a quicker way to get the point across and summaries are highlights. Do you ever watch the highlights of the football game you missed on Friday? Did you see the video I posted in my 5th article on Luca Manfe? Those are summaries, sure they are in a video form but they are still summaries. Just in a more fun way. My audience wants to read what I wrote, what I think, I mean you DID click on my link right? And if they wanted to read what Alessandra Capodiferrd wrote, they would have. Alessandra Capodiferro wrote the Wonders of the World, it’s the book in front of me. It’s okay to quote but “..quoting should be done sparingly..” (Brizee & Driscoll, 2013). Don’t forget what we as writers use, we must then cite. If we don’t it is consider plagiarizing and there are consequences. An F or we can be discredited (there goes our ethos) maybe worse. That’s why I always have a reference list. Don’t believe me go check. 

Paragraph Transitions; Transitions

A paragraph is the home of your idea. During the process of writing we all have learned that flow is important, our paragraphs must relate in some way. We also know that we cant just jump into the next paragraph. each paragraph needs an introduction sentence to set the ground work and each introduction sentence needs to have a transition to help the passing of one paragraph to another. Look at the following link for some great transitions to use: If you can avoid using the same transition twice, it can make your writing sound tiring and redundant which just makes it boring. Transitions relate your ideas together, they bring your idea’s relationships ALIVE. Transitions give your writing a certain clearness that needs to be achieved. Don’t get lazy when writing, just think it through.

According to Marlen Harrison, as writers we want our writing to be clear and easy to read. We don’t want our readers to be mind fucked when finished reading our work. Transitions are a perfect way to keep our writing clear because as mentioned before they connect our ideas together. A lot of people when they think of the use of transitions think of the First, Second, and Third transitions we used in basic writing back in elementary and even middle school. But those transitions don’t give justice to the use of transitions, how do they even connect our ideas. Oh that’s write they don’t, they just list them. The use of transitions needs to be given thought. A piece of advice by my Professor Harrison gave me is to always have our work read aloud to us. Does the person reading aloud stumble on your words? Is it because they are reading aloud or are your words to choppy? Do they have to re read the same sentence over and over again to understand it and eventually give up and change the words? It’s probably a clue to look at your words and transitions for a better flow. 

Topic Sentences and Signposting

“Topic sentences  reveal the main point of a paragraph.” (Abrams, 2000). No one wants to get to the middle of a paragraph and have no clue what the hell the point is. The point of the paragraph should be in the topic sentence of said paragraph. That’s the reason for a topic sentence. “Signposts, as their name suggests, prepare the reader for a change in the argument’s direction.” (Abrams 2000). Topic sentences correlate the idea of the paragraph to the overall thesis of the paper. Signposts, just like transitions only they are at the end of the paragraph, gear up the reader for what awaits them in the next paragraph. A topic sentence can be question and then the answer and then the explanation of the answer. we as writers aren’t limited to just one sentence.  And just like transitions, topic sentences and signposts help to lift the fog off our writing and gives us that yellow brick road to follow.

As a writer I knew about topic sentences but I didn’t know that they were call topic sentences. I always referred to them as paragraph introductions. As for signposts, never used them. I always thought that transitions were enough. That my transitions would connect my ideas and that I had already set up that yellow brick road for my readers. As for topic sentences well they were already there and I will admit not a whole thought went into what the best possible way to declare my paragraphs point was. I used the basic define the idea, like writing a vocabulary word down only in a sentence. As for signposts, well I thought I knew everything there was to know about writing because of taking A.P. English and literature and A.P. English Language but apparently not. It’s great timing to read about topic sentences and especially signposts, since they get the reader ready for the next paragraph like a boxer does with a warm-up practice session, because I have a research paper for my criminology class due at the end of the semester, but an outline due Tuesday. I don’t really have any other ideas about topic sentences that weren’t included in the above paragraph and I’ve never worked with signposts to give any advice as a writer but i have a feeling that is going to change.


Brizee, A., Driscoll, D. (2013, February 15). Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing. Retrieved September 30, 2013, from

Brizee, A., Driscoll, D. (2012, June 14). Paraphrase: Write it in your own words. Retrieved September 30, 2013, from

Paragraph Transitions. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2013, from

The Writing Center at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. (2010). Transitions. Retrieved September 30, 2013 from

Abrams, E. (2000). Topic Sentences and Signposts. Retrieved September 30, 2013, from


2 thoughts on “Notes 5

  1. Marlen says:

    The main issue I see here is making sure you have complete references. For example, you tell me the title of the Brizee and Driscoll articles but fail to provide the publication source and url info. This is true of all your references here. During the meeting we also discussed the period going after the parentheses when you have cited sources, so no need to have period inside your quotes as well in those cases. Likewise the citation needs a comma in APA format. Additionally, we need to provide a page number. When there is no pg # we need to give the paragraph # or section name.

    e.g. direction.” (Abrams 2000).


    direction” (Abrams, 2000, paragraph 9).

    The writing itself is clear, amusing and illustrates critical thinking. I’d just like to see you make more connections and bring them to life a bit more.

    +2 pts bonus for use of color!

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