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.
To properly cite a quote, include the author's last name, the year, and page number.
To cite a website ( which frequently does not have an author and page numbers) use the title, year, and paragraph number which can be a challenge to determine.
The How to Quote a Source page from the Writing Center at UW-Madison provides a number of examples.
Quotations must be identical to the original, using a narrow segment of the source. They must match the source document word for word and must be attributed to the original author.
Caution: Only use quotations when necessary (e. g., the passage loses something when paraphrased in your words). Students can sometimes go overboard with quotations. A scholarly work, such as a thesis, should demonstrate that the researcher can integrate information for a purpose not just string together quotes. Paraphrasing is definitely preferable.
1. Quotations/Less than 40 words/Intext/Quote Marks
Quotations of fewer than 40 words should be enclosed in double quotation marks and incorporated into the sentence structure. Include the author, year of publication, and the page number for the reference (preceded by "p."). Introduce the quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses (also known as parenthetical notation). Examples:
Patients receiving prayer had "less congestive heart failure, required less diuretic and antibiotic therapy, had fewer episodes of pneumonia, had fewer cardiac arrests, and were less frequently intubated and ventilated" (Byrd, 1988, p. 829).
She stated, "Students often had difficulty using APA style," but she did not offer an explanation as to why (Jones, 1998, p. 199).
2. Quotations of 40 or more words/Stand-alone block/Indented 5-7 spaces/No Quote Marks
Place direct quotations, longer than 40 words, in a free-standing block of typewritten lines and omit quotation marks. Start the quotation on a new line, indented five spaces from the left margin. Type the entire quotation on the new margin. Maintain double-spacing throughout. The intext citation should come after the closing punctuation mark.
Jones’ (1998) study found the following: students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many students failed to purchase a style manual or ask their teacher for help. (p.199)