MTM Writing Clinic
Textual evidence is material presented in textbooks, course readings, or writings by experts in their fields. The advantage of textual evidence is that it is factual. While the facts may be interpreted differently, any person can go to the same text which you have read and find the same information. There are three options for presenting textual evidence in your paper.
When you quote, you are presenting information from the text exactly as it reads. When quoting, you use quotation marks to inform your reader that you the text is an exact representation of the original.
Unlike a quote, a paraphrase is not an exact reproduction of another writer's words. A paraphrase should restate the original author's ideas in your own words, but should not leave out any part of the original text. Therefore, a paraphrase is generally the same length as the original text.
A writer may take several paragraphs to develop a really great idea which supports your claim. Instead of quoting such a long text, and overshadowing your own argument, you may present a summary of the writer’s idea instead. A summary will be significantly shorter than the original text, but will concisely present the author’s main points. A reverse outline can be helpful in ensuring that you garner the key ideas necessary to write a complete and accurate summary.