Citing Textual Evidence

you can choose DIRECT QUOTATIONS or PARAPHRASING

Prove It with Text Evidence

Prove It-How set up your citation....


  • because the text states...
  • For instance, in the text...
  • The author stated...
  • Within the reading, I found...
  • In paragraph _____ of the text....

Verbs for Citing Sources

In academic writing, you will want to project objectivity, distance and detachment instead of emotional subjectivity. Thus, you need to avoid citing published sources using the verbs that you normally use in conversation such as:

believe feel hear like listen love think try suppose want wonder


Verbs that will help you project this objectivity and will help your answer and/or argument appear stronger. When you choose a verb, pay attention to

  • the author &his/her purpose,
  • how you determined your evidence.
    Good choices include:

compare observe determine distinguish identify prove comments concludes
explains
indicates notes remarks states emphasizes illustrates points out
proposes
shows suggests confirm establish maintain denies describes details

RACES-text evidence writing

R restate the topic
A answer the question
C cite specific evidence
E explain the significance (so what?)
S sum it up

Tips for paraphrasing/Put it in your own words

1. Try to avoid using the same grammar structure: rewrite into your notes and then rewrite again in your answer

2. Guess and check the meaning of unfamiliar language or words

3. Think about your quote and try to summarize it in a sentence

4. Read for general understanding of a text

When to Quote/When to Paraphrase

When to Quote: Direct quotes should be used sparingly, but when they are used, they can be a powerful tool. As a rule, avoid using long quotes when possible, especially those longer than three lines. Use quotes to


  • provide indisputable evidence
  • communicate an idea state in a unique way
  • provide direct evidence of an author's claim
  • support information you've already cited form a source
  • provide a definition for a term or phrase


When to Paraphrase: Paraphrasing provides an author the opportunity to tailor the passage for the purpose of his or her own essay, which cannot always be done when using a direct quote. If your quote is over three lines, you need to paraphrase! Paraphrase when:


  • you need to simply a hard-to-understand passage
  • maintain the flow of writing
  • eliminate less relevant information
  • communicate relevant statistics or data