Phrases for Introducing Sources and Quotations

This handout is available for download in DOCX format and PDF format.

 

Capturing Authorial Action through Summaries or Paraphrasing

These phrases alert your reader that you as a writer are about to summarize or paraphrase another idea established by an authority on a chosen topic. Note that while some of these are quite neutral, others allow you to imply things about the quote’s tone, similarity, contrast, and/or significance in relation to other sources or to your larger argument.

Author X…

Introducing Quotations

These phrases alert your reader that you are about to quote directly from another source. As with the phrases above, some are quite neutral, while others allow you to imply things about the quote’s tone, similarity, contrast, and/or significance in relation to other sources or to your larger argument.

Explaining Quotations

Remember that every paragraph must provide clarification, interpretation, or necessary analysis of a supplied quotation or paraphrase; this allows you to explain not only the quote itself, but how it fits into your larger argument. The phrases listed here are just some of the ways in which you can alert your reader that you are about to rephrase, clarify, expand, and otherwise analyze the source you have previously introduced.

And of course, remember that all outside sources must be cited correctly! For more information on how to effectively and accurately incorporate outside sources into your writing, please refer to the handout on “Working with Quotations.”

Adapted from Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (New York: W.W. Norton, 2014) and David Glen Smith (http://www.davidglensmith.com/Tomball/supplemental/signal-phrases.pdf) by Robert B. Cochran, Brandeis University Writing Program, 2020.