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Most of the paragraph was taken verbatim from a single article. Although Jorge had enclosed the material in quotation marks, he knew it was not an appropriate way to use the research in his paper. Low-carbohydrate diets may indeed be superior to other diet plans for short-term weight loss. Heinz concluded that these plans yield quick results, an idea supported by a similar study conducted by Johnson and Crowe What remains to be seen, however, is whether this initial success can be sustained for longer periods. As Jorge revised the paragraph, he realized he did not need to quote these sources directly.

Instead, he paraphrased their most important findings.

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He also made sure to include a topic sentence stating the main idea of the paragraph and a concluding sentence that transitioned to the next major topic in his essay. It is extremely important to remember that even though you are summarizing and paraphrasing from another source—not quoting—you must still include a citation, including the last name s of the author s and the year of publication. Writing Commons. Open Text. Use lively language, but avoid language that is emotionally charged.

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So, now you may have decided after much critical thought, that you definitely have found the most amazing, well-suited quote that cannot be paraphrased, and you want to incorporate that quote into your paper. There are different ways to do this depending on how long the quote is; there are also a number of formatting requirements you need to apply.

Most of the time, you will summarize or paraphrase source material instead of quoting directly. Doing so shows that you understand your research well enough to write about it confidently in your own words. However, direct quotes can be powerful when used sparingly and with purpose. Quoting directly can sometimes help you make a point in a colourful way. Direct quotations from an interviewee or an eyewitness may help you personalize an issue for readers. Also, when you analyze primary sources, such as a historical speech or a work of literature, quoting extensively is often necessary to illustrate your points.

These are valid reasons to use quotations. Less-experienced writers, however, sometimes overuse direct quotations in a research paper because it seems easier than paraphrasing. At best, this reduces the effectiveness of the quotations. At worst, it results in a paper that seems haphazardly pasted together from outside sources. Use quotations sparingly for greater impact.

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Use an attributive tag e. Make sure any omissions or changed words do not alter the meaning of the original text. Omit or replace words only when absolutely necessary to shorten the text or to make it grammatically correct within your sentence. Use ellipses 3 […] if you need to omit a word or phrase; use 4 […. This shows your reader that you have critically and thoroughly examined the contents of this quote and have chosen only the most important and relevant information. Use brackets [ ] if you need to replace a word or phrase or if you need to change the verb tense.

Use [ sic ] after something in the quote that is grammatically incorrect or spelled incorrectly. This shows your reader that the mistake is in the original, not your writing. Jorge interviewed a dietitian as part of his research, and he decided to quote her words in his paper. Sure, for some people, they are great, but for most, any sensible eating and exercise plan would work just as well. Notice how Jorge smoothly integrated the quoted material by starting the sentence with an introductory phrase.

Remember, what you write in essays should be primarily your own words; your instructors want to know what your ideas are and for you to demonstrate your own critical thinking. This means you should only use the ideas of experts in the form of quotes to support your ideas. A paper that consists of mostly quotes pieced together does not demonstrate original thought but rather that you are good at cutting and pasting. Therefore, you should strive to state your ideas, develop them thoroughly, and then insert a supporting quote, and only if necessary.

Focus on paraphrasing and integrating and blending those external sources into your own ideas giving the original author credit by using a citation, of course.

When deciding to use any quotation as opposed to paraphrasing, you need to make sure the quote is a statement that the original author has worded so beautifully it would be less effective if you changed it into your own words. When you find something you would like to include verbatim word for word from a source, you need to decide if you should include the whole paragraph or section, or a smaller part. Sometimes, you may choose to use a longer quote but remove any unnecessary words. You would then use ellipses to show what content you have removed.

The following examples show how this is done. A short quote can be as one word or a phrase or a complete sentence as long as three lines of text again, removing any unnecessary words. Generally, a short quotation is one that is fewer than 40 words. Whether you use a complete sentence or only part of one, you need to make sure it blends in perfectly with your own sentence or paragraph. For example, if your paragraph is written in the present tense but the quote is in the past, you will need to change the verb, so it will fit into your writing. You will read about on this shortly. Using an attributive tag is another way to help incorporate your quote more fluidly.

An attributive tag is a phrase that shows your reader you got the information from a source, and you are giving the author attribution or credit for his or her ideas or words. Using an attributive tag allows you to provide a citation at the same time as helping integrate the quote more smoothly into your work.

In the example above, the attributive tag with citation is underlined; this statement is giving Marshall credit for his own words and ideas. If you were to include only a portion of that sentence, perhaps excerpting from the middle of it, you would not start the quote with a capital. In this example, notice how the student has only used a portion of the sentence, so did not need to include the capital.

For short quotations, use quotation marks to indicate where the quoted material begins and ends, and cite the name of the author s , the year of publication, and the page number where the quotation appears in your source.


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Remember to include commas to separate elements within the parenthetical citation. Also, avoid redundancy. If you name the author s in your sentence, do not repeat the name s in your parenthetical citation. Review following the examples of different ways to cite direct quotations. The elements within parentheses are separated by commas. Include the page number in the parenthetical citation. Although APA style guidelines do not require writers to provide page numbers for material that is not directly quoted, your instructor may wish you to do so when possible.

Check with your instructor about his or her preferences. Long quotations should be used even more sparingly than shorter ones.


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Long quotations can range in length from four to seven or eight lines 40 words or more, and should never be as long as a page. If you believe you have found the perfect paragraph to support your ideas, and you decide you really want or need to use the long quote, see if you can shorten it by removing unnecessary words or complete sentences and put ellipses in their place. This will again show your reader that you have put a lot of thought into the use of the quote and that you have included it just because you did not want to do any thinking.

Be wary of quoting from sources at length. Remember, your ideas should drive the paper, and quotations should be used to support and enhance your points. Make sure any lengthy quotations that you include serve a clear purpose. Generally, no more than 10 to 15 percent of a paper should consist of quoted material. As with short quotations, you need to make sure long quotations fit into your writing. To introduce a long quote, you need to include a stem this can include an attributive tag followed by a colon :.

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The stem is underlined in the example below. Much of the population—especially younger males—frequently engaged in violence by participating in saloon fights and shootouts and gun fights. In example, you can see the stem clearly introduces the quote in a grammatically correct way, leading into the quote fluidly. When you quote a longer passage from a source—40 words or more—you need to use a different format to set off the quoted material. If the passage continues into a second paragraph, indent a full tab five spaces again in the first line of the second paragraph. Here is an example:.

In recent years, many writers within the fitness industry have emphasized the ways in which women can benefit from weight-bearing exercise, such as weightlifting, karate, dancing, stair climbing, hiking, and jogging. Additionally, these exercises help women maintain muscle mass and overall strength, and many common forms of weight bearing exercise, such as brisk walking or stair climbing, also provide noticeable cardiovascular benefits. It is important to note that swimming cannot be considered a weight-bearing exercise, since the water supports and cushions the swimmer.

Look at the long block quotation example above. Identify four differences between how it is formatt ed and how you would format a short quotation. You may want to single space the quote, but not the main part of your essay. This will allow the long block quotation to stand out even more. Do not use quotation marks; they are unnecessary because the spacing and indenting and citation will tell your reader this is a quote. Throughout the body of your paper, you must include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources.

The purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; you will provide more detailed information for each source you cite in text in the references section. In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.