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Based upon: (1) the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. and (2) Stout Graduate School formatting requirements

Avoid Intellectual Burglary!

Thesis writing incorporates information from published sources to add credibility and authority to the paper. Caution: when building on published research, do not plagiarize. The University takes this very seriously with severe penalties.

Two methods to properly integrate published information in research writing are paraphrasing and quoting. Intext citing is essential for both.

Paraphrasing Examples

Check out this link for an example of inadequate and good paraphrasing with explanations for each: Successful vs. Unsuccessful Paraphrasing from UW-Madison's Writing Center.


Paraphrasing involves putting a passage from source material into the writer's own words. The original source must be acknowledged within the paraphrasing. Paraphrased material is usually shorter than the original passage, taking a broader segment of the source and condensing it. Paraphrasing should be used more frequently than quoting.

How to Paraphrase:

  1. When reading a passage, try first to understand it as a whole, rather than pausing to write down specific ideas or phrases.

  2. Be selective. Choose and summarize only the material that helps make a point in the paper.

  3. Think of what "your own words" would be if you were telling someone who is unfamiliar with your subject (your mother, your brother, a friend) what the original source said.

  4. Remember that you can use direct quotations of phrases from the original within your paraphrase, and that you don't need to change or put quotation marks around common knowledge words.

Methods of Paraphrasing:

  1. Look away from the source; then write.

  2. Take notes.

  3. While looking at the source, first change the structure, then the words.

In-Text Citations

The Chapter II literature review consists of information gathered from various sources including books, journal articles and online sources. When paraphrasing information from a source, it needs to be cited with an in-text reference.

  1. To write a correct in-text reference, include the last name of the author (or authors) and the year of publication in or after the sentence in which  the information is used. Following are examples of how to do this. It is good to try to mix up  methods of citation for readability.

    Ex. 1 - Livneh & Antonac (1995) stated that...
    Ex. 2 - Psychosocial aspects of disability are now considered more important than they have been in the past (Livneh & Antonac,1995).

  2. For one or two authors, write both names every time the reference occurs. For example, Anderson and Allen will be written as Anderson and Allen every time they are mentioned.

  3. For three, four, or five authors write out all the names the first time cited. In following citations, use only the first author’s name followed by et al. which is Latin for "and others."  Note: et [no period] al.[with period]

    First time in text - Bedford, Allen, and Margery (1998) stated that . . .      
    All following times - Bedford et al. (1998) stated that . . .

  4. If the work has six or more authors (which happens more commonly than you’d think), write only the first author’s name followed by et al. for all in-text references, even if it is the first time. In the reference list, you write out all author’s names up to six and after the sixth author, write et al.

Personal & Other Communications

The APA Publication Manual (p. 179) indicates that personal communications include letters, memos, telephone conversations, some electronic communications (e.g., e-mail or messages from nonarchived discussion groups or electronic bulletin boards), etc.  Personal communications are not cited in the reference list, but are cited within text as follows:

    According to  D. Walch ( personal communication, January 19, 2007), Director of Human Resources....


EDIT Many people think that you need to cite after every single sentence that is not your own original thought. The truth is that you need to cite after the first sentence in a paragraph that is paraphrased information. The information following that citation is assumed to be from the same author (see the example and explanation on theQuotations page in this guide).

It is important to cite a few different sources in a paragraph to show that you can integrate information. However, you need to make it clear which information is from which source. If you go back and forth between authors, indicate this by citing after every applicable sentence, as in the following example:

The National Institute for Correctional Education (NICE) indicates that over half of Wisconsin inmates read at the eighth-grade level or below (2005). Mathematics scores are even lower. Caroline Harlow, a Bureau of Justice Statistician (2003), suggests that this may be due to the fact that 74.5% of the state prison population has not completed high school. This percentage continues to rise as the number of incarcerated individuals rises (NICE).            

Generally, you will have a citation after the first or second sentence in every paragraph in Chapter II. You may not need a citation after the first sentence if it is some kind of introductory sentence or something that is “common knowledge.” Common knowledge refers to things that pretty much everyone knows, such as the world is round.