Paraphrasing

Before quoting

It's important to follow the conventions of your discipline when it comes to quoting, as many disciplines (e.g. the sciences) have little use for quotes in academic work, while others (e.g. the Humanities) frequently use quotes.

Even when your discipline makes use of quotes, do not fall into the trap of over-quoting. Your reader is interested in reading your work and your voice, and if your assignment is comprised mainly of other people's voices this will not be looked upon positively. Anyone can quote other people, so it's important to demonstrate that you've also understood and can convey the information you read.

In addition, you should only quote something if it's especially insightful, or is someone's own argument or commentary on a topic. Do not quote basic factual information, eg: Canberra is the capital city of Australia, Barack Obama is the President of the United States, etc.