Putting it all together

In any assignment you will most likely use a mix of paraphrasing, summarising and quoting to convey what you have read. However, there are other considerations which will affect the way you present this information:

  • Select the technique which best supports your purpose in relation to the assignment (e.g. quoting a well-accepted definition of a concept when explaining something, providing a summary of a theory on which your assignment is based, paraphrasing specific information from a published article to use as evidence and support your argument). You might use only part of the information provided in a single  source, or you might need to synthesise information from several sources to fulfil your purpose.
  • The words you choose to introduce and comment on the information you present, as well as the way you synthesise information from various sources, will show your attitude to the content. This is often referred to as your 'voice' which provides clues to the readers about how they should interpret what you have written.

Taking it further