How to provide an indirect quote from a source

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An indirect quote is when you have used an idea or opinion from a source but have paraphrased (summarised) it into your own words.


This is extremely useful to highlight the main idea of a source and is usually a better method of showing information than using a direct quotation.


How to paraphrase effectively:

  1. Carefully read the source and highlight important words.

  2. Use simple, modern terms if the original language is too complex but ensure that you do not change the overall meaning of the original text.

  3. Rewrite a simplified version of the sentence(s) using the altered vocabulary, but without altering the meaning.

  4. Check what has been written, edit where necessary and then compare to the original. Does the paraphrased section clarify, but not copy, the original? 


There are some general rules for using indirect quotes:

  • Do not use double inverted commas

  • Just before the full stop of the sentence in which you have used an indirect quote, place the in-text reference.


For example:


Vindex may not have wanted to rule Rome at all (Rankin, 1987, 145).


Varro records that decrees made against the Egyptian cult were overturned due to the degree of popular, and often violent, interventions of the Roman people (Turcan, 2000, 121).