You will want to record information at different levels of detail depending upon your familiarity with the topic and your goal:
Quoting--relaying the words of someone else without making changes; usually identified using quotation marks and identifying the author to give them credit at the end of the quote.
Paraphrasing--restating the idea in your own words. It can be about the same length or even longer than the original passage.
Summarizing--restating only the main points of the passage in your own words. It is very brief compared to the original passage, perhaps leaving out supporting details or examples the author uses.
Plagiarism--to steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one's own, or to use another author’s work without crediting the source.
Reference--source the author used to gather new information during research.
Source--The supplier of information, such as a person, book, website, etc.
Taking the time during your research to record your sources helps you, your audience and readers, and the author of the source in the following ways:
- If you remember a general idea that was in a book, magazine, encyclopedia, video clip, or website posting, but cannot remember the specific details, knowing the title, author, and date will help you locate it again.
- If readers or the audience for your presentation want to know more about the topic, they can use your list of sources to learn more about the ideas or information you shared.
- If an author or creator has worked hard and paid attention to detail to present you with information you find of value, you should recognize the author or creator and remind readers or your audience that your research builds on that of other hard-working people.