Chapter 5: Maintaining Focus and Purpose: The Body Paragraphs

Incorporating Cited Passages into Your Own Writing

We will talk more about citation in research papers in Chapter 13. For now, when dealing with a close reading of one article, keep in mind a few cardinal rules.

Do not let cited passages stand alone as sentences!

Remember that you are presenting your reading of this text, so it is not enough to simply let a cited passage speak for itself. You need to be selective in the passages you choose. Larger quotes usually do not work in short paper. You must always be interacting with the text and demonstrating how the author continues to deliver the message you identify as central, as we do in this excerpt from Paragraph 5.


Justice utilizes much natural imagery when defining “a commons” like language: “The sunlight that falls to earth is common to all, plants and animals on land, fish and the whales in the sea.” Further, Justice asserts that “Here in the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest, fresh water is a common resource,” implying even has he invokes the human naming of a region, that this does not override the deeper human tendency to share resources and foster a space that is mutually beneficial.

Another reader may read Justice’s text and NOT see what we see. It is therefore important that we not simply cite without analyzing. We must show how the text is doing what we claim it is doing, therefore it is vital that we couch cited passages within our declarative sentences. While paraphrasing is sometimes useful, it is best to cite and analyze in essays such as this one so that we do not make claims about the text that cannot be supported with evidence. It is important to remember that…


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Write Here, Right Now: An Interactive Introduction to Academic Writing and Research Copyright © 2018 by Ryerson University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.