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Harvard referencing: the difference between a direct quote and paraphrasing

Updated: Oct 7




Harvard referencing: the difference between a direct quote and paraphrasing


I love learning new skills and I love teaching. So I am going to use my blog to support others with tips on grammar, essay writing and proofreading. This blog's subject is APA 6th Harvard referencing, how to write a direct quote and how to paraphrase. I am going to use extracts from, one of my favourite author's, Stephenie Meyer and her Twilight series.


Direct quote


A direct quote should be copied word for word and be placed between double quotation marks. After the quote, you need in brackets: author, date and page number. For example:


“What if I'm not a superhero. What if I'm the bad guy?” (Meyer, 2005, p. 92).


If the direct quote is longer than 3 lines it doesn’t need quotation marks and can be put as a separate indented paragraph. For example:


About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him - and I didn’t know how potent that part

might be - that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and

irrevocably in love with him (Meyer, 2005, p. 195).

If the name of the author is mentioned in the sentence it doesn't need to be repeated in the brackets. For example:


Meyer states “Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved” (2005, p. 1).


Paraphrasing


To paraphrase the quote, rewrite the information using your own words without quotation marks. Include the author and date in brackets at the end of the sentence, though you don't need the page number. For example:


It would be better if Bella and Edward were not friends, but Edward really wants to be (Meyer, 2005).


If using the author in your sentence include only the date in brackets.


Meyer suggests that Edward was a lion and Bella was a lamb and they stupidly fell in love (2005).


Here's a quick comparison of the main differences.






Quick quiz - Are the following references correct?


1. “I like the night. Without the dark, we'd never see the stars (Meyer, 2005, p. 232).

2. “I decided as long as I'm going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly” (Meyer, 2005).

3. “Death is Peaceful, Life is Harder” (Meyer, 2005, p. 223).

4. Meyer states that Edward didn't break Charlie's rules as he came in through the window, not the door (Meyer, 2005).

5. Meyer suggests that Bella is not scared of meeting vampires, but scared that Edward's family won't approve of her (2005, p. 23).

6. Bella knows that Edward is seventeen, but doesn't know how long he has been seventeen informs Meyer (2005).


Hope you enjoyed this blog and developed your understanding of direct quotes and paraphrasing.


I am a freelance proofreader with a love of learning, feel free to contact me if you need support with your writing.


Thank you for reading 'Harvard referencing: the difference between a direct quote and paraphrasing'. Want to find more out about my love of learning?


Check out my blog "Learning: proofreader with a love of learning" on my website www.alisonproofreader.com, or say hello on Twitter at @alisonproofread, or Instagram at @alisonproofreader, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.



Answers to the quiz

1. Incorrect - missing quotation marks at the end of the direct quote. Correct answer - “I like the night. Without the dark, we'd never see the stars" (Meyer, 2005, p. 232).

2. Incorrect - missing page number. Correct answer - “I decided as long as I'm going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly” (Meyer, 2005, p. 99).

3. Correct.

4. Incorrect - name repeated twice, can delete either of them to be correct. One correct answer - Edward didn't break Charlie's rules as he came in through the window, not the door (Meyer, 2005).

5. Incorrect - don't need the page number. Correct - Meyer suggests that Bella is not scared of meeting vampires, but scared that Edward's family won't approve of her (2005).

6. Correct.


Thank you for taking the quiz. Hope you enjoyed it.


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 Created by Alison Gilbert

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