For various reasons, you may feel compelled to throw in a lot of quotations in your technical documents. It's true: direct quotation can seem to provide authority to your documents, but so can paraphrasing and summarizing (covered below).

However you use your borrowed information—where directly quoting, paraphrasing, or summarizing—remember that you must cite your sources. That's called documenting your sources of borrowed information. That covered in documentation.

Reasons for Direct Quotations

In technical texts, you can reduce your reasons for direct quotations to these:

Authority speaks:

I didn't say that—not me!

Perfect expression

Crazy, quirky expression:

Methods of Direct Quotation

Block direct quotation:

Complete-sentence direct quotation:

Phrasal direct quotation:

Alternatives to Direct Quotation

Paraphrasing:

Summarizing:

Direct Quotations: Phrasing and Punctuation


I would appreciate your thoughts, reactions, criticism regarding this chapter: your response.