A Road Accident Essay Quotes Samples

The distinction between paraphrase, summary, and analysis is central to academic writing, especially for assignments that require critical responses to sources. Paraphrase, summary, and analysis are important for accomplishing different jobs in the essay:

  • Quotation allows the writer to fully use the original author’s words using quotation marks in order to make a point or to provide support for an idea.

    • Example: The professor said, “The sun is shining.”

  • Paraphrase enables the writer to comprehend the content of a source by putting the original words into the writer’s own words.

    • Example: The professor explained that the weather would be sunny all day today.

  • Summary: Summary is used to provide a brief understanding of the main points of a source. In this case, only the most important or most essential information from a source is used.

    • Example: Today in class, we talked about the sunny day outside.

  • Analysis, which relies on the writer’s own observations and ideas, shows how the components function as parts of a whole (the source itself, the subject which the source addresses, the academic discipline to which the source contributes). In analysis, a new idea is born from the original source.
    • Example: When the professor mentioned the sunny day in class, he meant to establish a personable relationship with the students so they may be more open to his forthcoming lecture.

The following examples illustrating the distinction between quotation, paraphrase, summary, and analysis are based on a well-known nursery rhyme:

“Jack and Jill ran up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown, and Jill came tumbling after.”

QUOTATION: In the classic nursery rhyme, “Jack and Jill,” the two characters are tasked with “fetch[ing] a pail of water.”

PARAPHRASE: In the nursery rhyme, “Jack and Jill,” the two title characters are racing to get water from the well when Jack trips without warning, hitting his head, and Jill falls down the hill after him.

SUMMARY: In the classic children’s nursery rhyme, “Jack and Jill,” two children are in the midst of completing a domestic chore, gathering water from the well, when an accident happens. First Jack slides down the hill and gets hurt, and then Jill also falls down the hill.

ANALYSIS: The classic children’s nursery rhyme, “Jack and Jill,” depicts two children in an act of domestic chores, which in the 1760s when the rhyme was published, was often what children were sent by their parents to do so as to contribute to the running of the home. Generally, the idea that the two run “up the hill” is nonsense because water typically comes from the bottom of hills (since water follows the downward flow of gravity). In modern usage, the rhyme provides a slapstick comedy for children to enjoy, but might also provide a lesson that children should take care when accomplishing their chores so that they do not injure themselves.

Proposal to promote to policy/guideline[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
This is the latest in several moves to get Wikipedia:Quotations accepted as a guideline. While broadly liked, it was felt by opposers that the advice given in WP:MOSQUOTE and WP:PLAGIARISM is sufficient, and there was caution regarding having too many rules. The supporters felt that the advice in this essay regarding when to use quotations, and how many or how much to use, is valuable advice which is distinct from that given elsewhere, and is already widely used. While there was merit in much of what the supporters said, they do not have community consensus to carry this forward. The proposal has attracted attention to the essay which has undergone considerable editing in the past few weeks. It is possible that a variation of the current version may be accepted as a guideline at a future date.

Lots of people have mentioned that this essay should be promoted. I support this idea.

I will contact the past supporters to see if they are still interested in this proposal.

I will make a note at wp:policy and guidelines.

I will add this to {{cent}}.174.3.110.108 (talk) 01:44, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposals Village Pump has been notified of this discussion.

Policy Village Pump has been notified of this discussion.174.3.107.176 (talk) 04:26, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Er do you mean policy? If so I'd support this, as I think everything in this guideline is uncontroversial and well-established in practice. Dcoetzee 02:04, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, policy or guideline or pillar.174.3.110.108 (talk) 02:30, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
You shouldn't contact the past supporters, as that would be a form of WP:CANVASSing. This thread/rfc should be enough to attract the attention of those who have commented in the past about having this page as a guideline, both for and against.--Father Goose (talk) 06:48, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
But I see you have already contacted them. On the other hand, I can only see two users who seem to have opposed in any form in the past; User:Radiant! tagged it {{historical}} at one point and User:Kevin Murray tagged it {{rejected}}. I'll inform them both.--Father Goose (talk)
Note that an rfc had been filed in the past, with only one response.100110100 (talk) 12:47, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Canvassing is only inappropriate when the editiors are uninvolved.174.3.110.108 (talk) 12:45, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia:CANVASS#Votestacking is what's involved here; you can't inform only those who have previously supported and not those who have previously opposed. I informed the two past opposers, so the stack has been unstacked.--Father Goose (talk) 21:03, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We already have WP:MOSQUOTE, which is all that is needed. -- AnmaFinotera (talk ·contribs) 05:12, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Stable, common-sensical; I see no reason why this shouldn't be a guideline. Ironholds (talk) 15:21, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Sensible and long-standing. -- œ 21:29, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Looks fine on first reading. RayTalk 21:51, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - I had to read through this and compare with WP:MOSQUOTE to determine if this would be redundant. It seems to provide a lot of guidance on the proper use of quotes that's missing from the MOS, which focuses more on their presentation. This seems to describe universal long-standing practice, the documentation of which is the purpose of a policy or guideline, so I support promoting this. Equazcion(talk) 22:00, 13 Mar 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. Seems helpful and clear. -- Banjeboi 07:02, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This reads like the essay it is. We already have WP:MOSQUOTE, which is succinct and all that is needed. I think that promoting this to a guideline would be instruction creep. -- PBS (talk) 11:07, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support to promote for guideline. I think we need a guideline on using quotations beyond WP:MOSQUOTE (I've seen some instances of disputes on using quotations), and this is good enough, though could be improved. But I don't support this for policy, as the importance and need of it has not been demonstrated, and it should stay a guideline for some time before considering 'promotion' to policy. Cenarium (talk) 18:38, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose promotion. This is great as an essay, and it should stay that way. I did add a {{Further}} link to WP:MOSQUOTE which I think should effectively achieve the desired result of increasing awareness of this essay. No idea if that edit will stick, but it seems like a decent idea to me.
    — V = IR(Talk • Contribs) 21:17, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is fine as an essay. I removed Ohms law's link from the MoS when I investigated it. I've just been through on an initial copy-edit, which has trimmed off unnecessary wording and fixed a few things on the surface. I've left a few inline queries about poorly organised and repetitive text. When it's fixed, I think it could go back as a link from the MOSQUOTE. Tony(talk) 00:25, 15 March 2010 (UTC) PS More examples would be really helpful. Then we'd be referring FAC nominators to it. Tony(talk) 00:27, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
    So, this essay isn't ready to be guideline/protocol? We need examples and have FAers opine?174.3.107.176 (talk) 03:25, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Promoting this to guideline would mean yet another page to monitor for inconsistencies with the other guidelines and policies. Also, editors tend to take this kind of advice very literally, so we'd end up with quotations being removed for spurious reasons. SlimVirginTALKcontribs 07:31, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
    This page doesn't say what kind of quotes can be used. I just says how short quotes should be kept, how often they should be used. If the quote is applicable to it's use wherever it is, then it will be used regardless. You can take quotes by a case by case basis. Even if the quote is irrelevant, it will still be used. This page says nothing about subject matter in regards with quotes.174.3.107.176 (talk) 10:12, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support guideline. I'm inclined to think that guidance is actually a good thing, since it gives contributors something tangible to refer to in making decisions. There are some minor concerns I have with it as it stands (see below), but the "essay" tag is misleading. It says, "Essays may represent widespread norms or minority viewpoints. Consider these views with discretion." This doesn't. WP:PG notes that, "Guidelines" are sets of best practices that are supported by consensus." This would seem to me clearly to qualify. (For some reason, I can't bold the word support, and I've given up trying. It's refusing to read one of the initial apostrophes and consequently malformatting the rest of my !vote. I even tried using {{CB-support1}}, and it didn't work. Life is short. I'm moving on.) .. Fixed :) -- OE --Moonriddengirl(talk) 12:27, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
    Expanding my support, in partial response to several opposes: Those of you who know whereIwork will probably already realize that talking with contributors about how to handle imported text is a big part of my daily life. I believe, as I said above, that this essay already reflects consensus of the community in its broad outlines. I myself would find it very useful to have a guideline on quotations to point to. :) I do not typically point to this document for new contributors because I believe that the "essay" tag can cause confusion. They don't want to hear minority views; they want to know how things are done. And should they by any chance refer to WP:PG, they will read that "Essays are the opinion or advice of an editor or group of editors, for which widespread consensus has not been established." Aside from a few minor points (see section immediately below, where these are being discussed), with respect to this document, this is just wrong. Widespread consensus has been established for these points; there simply is no other place where consensus on use of quotations is gathered. In re: concerns that elevating this to guideline will create "an absolute requirement to follow them", I refer again to WP:PG: "Editors should attempt to follow guidelines, though they are best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply." This is not an absolute requirement to do anything. It also isn't necessary that new guidelines come into existence to fix problems. Their purpose is to let members of the community know how things are done ("sets of best practices that are supported by consensus", per WP:PG again), and there's no reason that especially new contributors should have to learn this through trial and error. In terms of redundancy issues, I believe that this is distinct from WP:MOSQUOTE (which is a style guide) and WP:PLAGIARISM both in its scope and depth. Neither MOSQUOTE nor PLAGIARISM are concerned with when quotations should and should not be used, for instance. While there are some overlaps, there are fewer than between Wikipedia:Notability and the 10 specific subject subsets of it, or even than between the policy WP:V and the guideline WP:IRS. While this is my own observation, quotations seem to be pretty widespread in usage through the project. Having a single guideline that documents the best practice of a feature so frequently used seems like a good thing. It's not here for the benefit of those who already know these consensus practices, but for those who do not. --Moonriddengirl(talk) 12:14, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
    Here here!.174.3.107.176 (talk) 14:40, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose:
    • Partly duplications WP:PLAGIARISM, which will cause inconsistencies. --Philcha (talk) 14:38, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
    • Does not whether it's proposed as a guideline or a policy. There's a bit differance, e.g. WP:IAR does not apply to policies. --Philcha (talk) 10:00, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Only the issues of verifiability, attribution and plagiarism need to be rules, and WP:MOSQUOTE and WP:PLAGIARISM already cover or could easily be expanded to cover these points. Most of WP:QUOTATIONS deals with questions of good taste and good style, which serve us better at the essay level where editors do not have an absolute requirement to follow them. Darkfrog24 (talk) 22:04, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - vote changed, see below. Congratulations to everyone who's worked on this well-written document. - DustFormsWords (talk) 01:49, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I am returning to comment after your edit summary appeared on my watchlist. Let me say that "ain't broke, don't fix" is the feeblest justification for opposing change that does the rounds. So ... climate change isn't "broken", therefore don't fix it. Yeah. Here on WP, I like to think that reform, improvements—whether gradual or substantial—can happen without weak-kneed resistance to the very idea of change. Tony(talk) 02:04, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • It's fair to say "ain't broke, don't fix it" may have been flippant. Can I suggest you read my comment above as, "The support arguments have failed to demonstrate how this proposal would actively improve Wikipedia?" Having too many guidelines and policies promotes an overly legalistic culture on Wikipedia and may make it harder for new editors to meaningfully contribute to community debate. For each new guideline a case needs to be made as to how that guideline will improve Wikipedia; that case hasn't been made here, largely because, as I say, I'm unaware of any problem in the way we currently handle quotations. But thank you for requesting a clarification of my position; it's nice to know my viewpoint has been heard! - DustFormsWords (talk) 02:17, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • The case is already made. Editors have been following this guidance and putting it into practice for a long time now. So in effect this already HAS been actively improving Wikipedia. Which is probably why you're unaware of any problem in the way we currently handle quotations. All that's left to do is legitimize it by formally calling it a guideline. -- œ 04:30, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Well, no, with respect again to the excellent work contained in the article, that's NOT making the case. This isn't a proposal to note this essay, or a discussion about whether it's good advice (it is). It's a discussion about whether to make it a guideline. It's not now, and we seem to be fine. What's going to change if we make it a guideline? Is there some morass of bitter dispute that I'm unaware of, where people are edit warring over quotations and loudly lamenting, "If only there was an unambiguous policy about this"? To put it another way, what benefit do we gain by making it a guideline that we don't continue to enjoy by leaving it an essay? - DustFormsWords (talk) 04:43, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Nothing much will change at all. Except that we will properly be referring to it as a guideline rather than an essay. As per Moonriddengirl's statement above, the "essay" tag is simply misleading. And perhaps there is some bitter dispute somewhere out there concerning use of quotations, or there may be in the future, who knows? But we would be proactively avoiding it by legitimizing this guideline as something more formal than just an essay. -- œ 07:29, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
    • I want to add that I am in a dispute with quotations. I've seen many articles that use {{quote box}} and they are inserted with no explanation of it's relevance in the article, or in the section. It would be important (if not imperative) that this be upgraded.174.3.107.176 (talk) 10:13, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, how to interpret that statement? One way would be that you wish more sway to "win" your dispute, which would be a mean interpretation. Another way would be that you are demonstrating that the essay is not all that widely accepted and so should not be promoted. I've no doubt there are others, those are just two I thought of, they both give me pause. Franamax (talk) 10:29, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
That's an interesting response that basically gives us some insight into why it's so hard to promote anything nowadays. Some people say an essay doesn't have wide enough acceptance to be a guideline, and some say that since everyone does what the essay says already there's no need to make it a guideline (some people even essentially say both). This basically means that no matter what, there's always a reason to refrain from promoting. Equazcion(talk) 10:58, 16 Mar 2010 (UTC)
Indubitably. WP:PLAGIARISM was strenuously opposed from it's first writing as being an overlap of WP:CITE and WP:V as I recall. It's a serious concern, because guidelines can start drifting apart. I'm just looking here for what "extra value" is being gained. Franamax (talk) 11:10, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
That's a goood thing. Overlegislation is the bane of initiative; it's to Wikipedia's credit that it's able to run at a high level with only a very rare need for new formal law. As I've said above, the goal that we all share is to improve Wikipedia. If Wikipedia isn't improved by promoting an essay to a guideline - and I've still not seen any case that it is - then we gain the very substantial benefit of not having to increase the size of the Wikipedia policy book, which means increased ease of access for new editors and a debate style that favours substantive argument over the technicalities of policy precedence. - DustFormsWords (talk) 21:15, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
It's not a good thing that there's always an interchangeable reason to refrain from promoting anything. That means that worthy pages could be getting blocked from promotion on mere whims or ulterior motives rather than solid rationale. The role of policies and guidelines is to have something to refer to that explains what is always done. This page explains what is always done. If the reasons not to promote it are that there aren't enough fights over quotes to warrant legislation that would force a desired result, and that there are fights over it which we should take to mean that it's not what is always done, then there is a problem in the promotion process. Equazcion(talk) 22:15, 16 Mar 2010 (UTC)
It's not a reason to oppose everything. Clearly where there's a gap or dispute about a substantive issue it will be necessary to introduce policy to resolve the issue. That's what's recently and currently been happening around BLPs, it's what's been happening with WP:EVENT, and it's what will happen any time that a new policy would create concrete benefits to the smooth and high-quality operation of Wikipedia. It's not the case here; there's obvious benefits to NOT introducing unnecessary guidelines, and there's no argument been advanced that this proposed guideline is a necessary one. The argument here so far seems to be that any generally-agreed essay should be advanced to a guideline, and I don't think that's an argument that's in either the short term or long term interests of the encyclopaedia. - DustFormsWords (talk) 22:24, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean by "necessary"? In the BLP case, policy is treated as prescriptive. There's a problem that needs fixing, so we need something that tells people what to do, because they currently aren't all doing the "right" thing. Think in terms of what Wikipedia claims policy is supposed to be, and there's a reason to promote this -- because it describes what we already do. There doesn't need to be a problem requiring a fix (making it "necessary"). That's not what policy is supposed to be, or at least, that's not what it's claimed to be. Equazcion(talk) 22:35, 16 Mar 2010 (UTC)
What I mean by "not necessary" is that no one has put forward a reason why promoting the essay to a guideline creates a better Wikipedia. DustFormsWords (talk) 23:12, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ Why does any promotion create a better Wikipedia? It's good to have documentation of what we do and why we do it, so that it can be easily referred to when someone doesn't know. Equazcion(talk) 23:14, 16 Mar 2010 (UTC)

We have that document. It's the essay. What do we gain by promoting it to a guideline, and how does it outweigh the small but real costs to accessibility, efficiency and inclusiveness that come with incremental overlegislation? - DustFormsWords (talk) 23:38, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
An essay is "the advice or opinions of one or more" people. When referring people to documentation of our practices, that message at the top tends to call its credibility as documentation into question, as it rightly should. An essay that documents consensus practices is a policy or guideline, and failing to say so (at least for your stated reasons) is a product of fear outweighing accuracy. Equazcion(talk) 23:47, 16 Mar 2010 (UTC)
Changing opinion above to Support - Sorry everyone, my arguments above turn out to be based on an incorrect understanding of WP:GUIDELINE and insofar as I have a disagreement it's with that page and not this one. Given that page, and my acceptance that this essay is both excellent and community-agreed, it would appear I don't have any valid reason to oppose its promotion, and I change my argument accordingly. Thank you everyone for the discussion and insofar as I've learned from it it's not been a waste of time. - DustFormsWords (talk) 00:01, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
As mentioned above, this generally states style, and so if required, we can categigorize it as a MOS page (i.e.: name it "wp:mos (quotations)" or "mos:quotations").174.3.107.176 (talk) 14:22, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose promotion at this time. This is a great compilation of best practice for quoting and is fine as an essay. I'm unclear on what it would add as a guideline, that is not already overlapped elsewhere. MOSQUOTE ahould already be covering the should-do's and other policy/guideline already covers the must-do's, but maybe I'm missing something? Separately, one thnig that jumped out at me was As an editor, it is your responsibility... - actually, as an editor, I have no responsibilities at all, I can do whatever I want right up until I get blocked. Sure, I've volunteered to take on one or two hundred responsibilities, but really, please don't start dictating my responsibility to me, I don't respond well in that way. :) Franamax (talk) 11:04, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
    Shall we strike a task force to review the relevant protocol? I think, as mentioned previously above, that this page states the good use or quotations in articles, not the rights infringement of other protocol.

    The most important point (IMO) of this page is the attribution. I've seen quotes used everywhere, from being at the top of an article, to having 5 quotes in one section, and all of them having no explanation as to it's pertinence to the article. This is what erks me because we have a sister for this.174.3.107.176 (talk) 11:26, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
    If you have such strong opinions about the project why not create an account, because the opinions of a person with only two days edit history is not given much weight? -- PBS (talk) 23:02, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
    Creating an account wouldn't give him more days of history. Besides which opinions should be given weight based on their merit, not a person's contrib list. Moving on, 174, when you say there's a lack of attribution, do you mean there's not sufficient info on who authored the quotes, or on what value they give to the article? Equazcion(talk) 23:08, 16 Mar 2010 (UTC)
    The latter.174.3.107.176 (talk) 02:39, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
    He has an account. He is User:100110100 (he has used both the account and the IP in this discussion, though he did not make it clear above). -- AnmaFinotera (talk ·contribs) 00:12, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
    How do you know that User:100110100 and 174.3.107.176 are the same person? "Besides which opinions should be given weight based on their merit, not a person's contrib list." Not so. If I see an argument from a user id which I know and respect then I tend to need less persuasion that their point of view is worth considering without the need for further questions and explanations. This is after all the major advantage to the project of people using user ids.-- PBS (talk) 00:50, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
    174.3.107.176 = 174.3.110.108 = User:100110100. I know because its been confirmed by the admin who has dealt with this editor and per the [[|lengthy ANI thread regarding the same user. An admin did request he identify himself when he has used both the named and IP in discussions, though it was apparently ignored. I only note it now because someone specifically suggested he make an account, which of course is unnecessary. -- AnmaFinotera (talk ·contribs) 01:00, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
    (after e/c, omitted bit about why accounts are good) I'm interested in the answer to that because it might help to illuminate what this is meant to address as a guideline. If it's attribution of the work quoted, isn't that covered in detail elsewhere, or is there a hole in the instructions? And if it's "value given", does this essay cover that and does that need the force of a guideline? Or if it's that quotes are overwhelming a section, isn't that a matter of indivdual consensus on articles? Excessive quoting from a single source? Is that covered somewhere? WP:PLAG is slowly becoming regularly referred to now and it's specific guidance occasionally gets quoted. What would be the analogous guidance given by this proposed guideline in the scenarios I just outlined? Franamax (talk) 00:15, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
    What I meant by attribution is: "Explicitly stating the pertinence of a quote.".174.3.107.176 (talk) 02:39, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Eventual support. I don't think this is quite ready for guideline status, but I think it could be ready in fairly short order, and I thing it would be of value as a guideline once it has been improved a bit mroe. DES(talk) 04:30, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It seems like it's easier around here to promote a new guideline than to get a single sentence into an article past the squad of censors who can misquote them all. Even essays, if well-regarded, are cited anyway. So when I see little details that worry me, I'm for caution. For example:
  • I don't think that "epigraphs" should be banned. Why? Because you're asking someone to interpret what an "epigraph" from a piece of fiction translates into in Wikipedia. What they're going to come up with half the time is that just about any free-standing quote is an "epigraph".
  • I don't think that WP:QUOTEFARM should be repeated here. Why? Because you end up with two copies of it, either of which can change, and then the discussion goes back and forth while either or both are used... it's a mess. It should be incorporated by reference ONLY. This gets even worse when you have extra policy guideline advice about not "overusing" quotations and not using "long" quotations. After what I got into at "Johnny Weir" trying to introduce a few quotes in one section, I don't think the policy is all that lenient now.
  • "Three or more consecutive words". This is a nightmare waiting to be uncorked. There are all kinds of situations where you use three or more consecutive words, because there's just no other way to say it. Once that one gets out there won't be a political edit that doesn't get flagged by the censor squad because you say "Senator ---- introduced a bill..." without putting it in quotation marks, or because you're "quoting too extensively", etc.
  • "Do not put quotes in italics" also strikes me as unneeded advice. Lots of people are used to seeing quotes in italics - it seems as fair as using a 24-hour clock and such.
  • Advising editors against using quoteboxes except in dire circumstances also rubs me the wrong way. Quotes are like images, meant to spice up an article. Other media don't mind using them, so why should we enforce boredom on the reader? Yeah, don't use them to break policy by giving WP:undue weight... but that's a policy already.

Bottom line: this guideline reads to me like it practically bans quotes from articles that in my opinion could use more of them, not less. Instruction creep is a leading known flaw of Wikipedia and we're right here at the cutting edge of it. Wnt (talk) 22:46, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

I disagree with most of that. Italics for quotes should be advised against in some guideline, as it's extraneous formatting. It's not used in most reputable (non-magazine) publications, and on Wikipedia it's almost never done/accepted.
Advising against quote boxes is also a good idea, because for any given topic there are generally a rather high number of possible quotes to use, so they're very prone to overuse. That's different from the choice of images, which are generally finite; and I don't think images are present in articles merely to "spice them up", but are rather mainly there to provide information -- a picture is worth a thousand words, and so forth. Taking words that could just as easily be in the main text and displaying them in their own box is just the kind of extraneous style (for the majority of cases) that's more magazine-style than encyclopedia oriented, which we generally try to avoid.
Quotefarm shouldn't be repeated but it should be summarized briefly, as it's very related to the quote box issue and the topic of the page in general.
"In general, using three or more consecutive words from a source is a quotation." -- It already says "generally", which I'd interpret as an attempt at a disclaimer to avoid the problems you predict. Maybe "Broadly interpreted,..." would work better for that purpose; but this wording can be worked on. I think it's a good thing, though, to offer a quick definition of what the page is describing and offering advice on.
As for epigraphs, I think that sentence needs some definition. I don't think it's intended to mean using epigraphs found in literature is bad, as you've interpreted it; but instead, that it's bad to insert quotes into an article in epigraph-style, for example with no lead-in or lacking attribution. Pull-quotes, same deal -- although quote boxes basically are the same thing, and are allowed sparingly, so again this sentence needs more explanation in order to remain.
Whatever you think of the practices described on this page, it generally describes the principles that win out on Wikipedia, in nearly all cases, as far as I'm aware. Equazcion(talk) 02:59, 18 Mar 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, that's not what I meant about the epigraphs. What I mean is that an epigraph in literature is a free-floating quote at the beginning of a book, which is seldom really completely irrelevant though often the relationship is rather indirect, and sometimes may be fairly closely related to the topic of the work. But what's a "book" in a Wikipedia article? Does the policy ban a quote at the beginning of a section, subsection, table, infobox? Does the quote have to be totally off-topic to the section text, or somewhat difficult to integrate, or is it anything not directly linked to the text by a sentence introducing it with a colon? Wnt (talk) 06:09, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Again I agree the sentence poorly described the issue, but it was merely warning against delivering quotes for purely stylistic purposes, I think; without a lead-in, explanation, attribution, etc. The sentence seems to have been removed now anyway. Equazcion(talk) 06:14, 18 Mar 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the proposal is to ban quotes that have no explanation of being there. Quotations don't have to be introduced by a colon, but it should be explained why it is there. There is no reason why a quotation should appear out of the blue, and hit you in the face. Yeh, that's nice for magazines, but if we want something verifiable and encyclopedic, that's this is not the place.174.3.98.20 (talk) 14:14, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, the example that comes to mind is when the text says that an herb "is known for" some activity, either (usually) without a source, or with a fluffy source from a few years ago that doesn't cite sources itself. And what you have is a quote from some ancient text - Hippocrates, Sushruta, Dioscourides, etc., which is worded in such a way that it is fairly clear that this is what it is talking about, not to mention generally being very well put and interesting. Now if you introduce this directly in the text, saying "X said this", you're still arguably making an OR connection between the way it's put in archaic language and the thing they have. But if you make it merely a footnote reference, then you see the very important source that has shaped history hidden away, while the fluffy pop article stands supreme. But if you have the quote sitting off alone in a box at the beginning of the section, then people have this information and reference, which is in itself relevant to the article and quite interesting, without watching the awkward contortion of someone trying to link it in.
It's true that a deeper research of the topic might allow a more integrated approach, but the topic should be allowed in the meanwhile. Wnt (talk) 14:51, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
It looks as though WP:QUOTEFARM has redirected here for quite some time. Were you thinking of something else?
I agree with the criticisms regarding "epigraphs" and "Three or more consecutive words". This sort of thinking is endemic in a few of our guidelines and policies. The ideas themselves aren't really problematic, it's taking the decent general advice and making it into a hard and fast rule which reads as though you can never do whatever it is, which is a problem.
I also agree with the item about italicizing quotes. Some articles really benefit from such typographical styling, while attempting to shoehorn that style into others only works to create a mess. There are too many variables with this issue to make a hard rule effective or useful.
I concur with the thoughts on quoteboxes as well.
Ultimately, this hits on all of the reasons that I think this is a decent essay which should not be a guideline. It's good advice for places where it's helpful, but if applied generally it will work at cross-purposes to actually improving articles. As I said above, I support something like linking to it from the MOS, but not to promoting it to be "a rule". Implementing the "style classification" discussed below, and placing it into that category (with a few more minor tweaks), would also be perfectly reasonable to me.
— V = IR(Talk • Contribs) 03:03, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Addendum: I oppose the below because that solution is not legally binding. It is useless to create another category of page. Now, THAT, is "instruction creep".174.3.98.20 (talk) 03:54, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Not "legally binding"? What does that mean? Nothing here is actually "legally binding", and really the only policies that are unambiguously binding are the WP:5P's. Making this a guideline would hardly make it "legally binding".
— V = IR(Talk • Contribs) 10:08, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
No, those aren't legally binding, as there are many exceptions to those rules. You can take it as a metaphor, but being an essay, it is impossible to enforce the statements that appear here.174.3.98.20 (talk) 14:02, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
The point though is that you can't really "enforce" guidelines either. As with most things here, Guidelines receive what little authority that they have through the weight of our collective acceptance, and willingness to follow them. You or I could create a guideline saying that lead text must use {{Pink (color)}} text, but that doesn't mean that it'll happen. Actually, I'd estimate that more guidelines (and policies, for that matter) are ignored then are followed.
— V = IR(Talk • Contribs) 14:51, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
No, the point is that people dismiss what is written here because it is an essay and has no consensus. Although this is contrary to de jure.174.3.98.20 (talk) 16:05, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Ohms, that's not really true. The onus is usually on a non-compliant editor to show, if challenged, why the article should not comply with a style guide. Untenable style guides, such as the pink example, do not survive for long, because style guides are taken seriously. Tony(talk) 03:37, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
    The "if challenged" part is a key component to your reply, though. Besides, I never said that style guides weren't "taken seriously", only that what authority they have is given by the continuing consent of most editors. There's literally nothing that couldn't change in any policy or guideline, if we wanted it to. The real issue here though, is that Wikipedia's policies and guidelines are definitely not laws, by any stretch of the imagination. That has been a Wikipedia policy since 2001.
    — V = IR(Talk • Contribs) 05:39, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
    That doesn't make anysense. We explicitly are saying what is acceptable with good reason and asking people to GIVE a good reason when something falls out of the rule. Of course wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, you don't have to say that because consensus is how we do things. Of course it is law. That's why we decide on a case by case basis what violates what.174.3.113.245 (talk) 16:06, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Redundant to our numerous other policies and guidelines. Please see WP:BURO and WP:CREEP. Colonel Warden (talk) 14:17, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is a helpful essay. It should remain so. WP:MOS and WP:PLAGIARISM provide sufficient formal guidance. --Mkativerata (talk) 21:43, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The essay's stance on stand-alone quotes and quoteboxes seems rather arbitrary. Stand-alone quotes can make an article more enjoyable to read (e.g.), a consideration which I feel gets too little air-time in WP discussions. I don't feel that the injunctions not to overuse quotations and not to use long ones are particularly helpful. --MoreThings (talk) 14:40, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
That article you linked is exactly the articles we don't want to have: encylopedias are very different from magazines. If we let everyone have a joy to read wikipedia, we would let them have 20 quotes on every featured article, considering they are the "best" articles on wikipedia, so they should "read" the "best". We have a devoted function for that: wikiquote.
Your defence that the article is a joy to read is undefensible, because I didn't think the article was beautiful at all.174.3.113.245 (talk) 15:59, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
No. Let's not have anyone enjoy reading WP, whatever we do :) I think the layout of the Larkin article could be prettied up a bit, but I think the quotations themselves improve the article a lot. If a WP article can manage to be as enjoyable and engaging as an article in a good magazine while remaining within policy, that's a win. In that respect having to write encyclopedically is a constraint as much as it is a goal. --MoreThings (talk) 19:33, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
wikipedia is an encyclopedia and presents facts. Those quotes are thrown around everywhere, arranged into incoherence, and belong on wikiquote.174.3.113.245 (talk) 04:56, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
"That article you linked is exactly the articles we don't want to have" - 174 is mistaking their opinion for consensus. If I understand their grammar correctly almost-instinct 08:02, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Backtrack[edit]

So we obviously have no consensus on the status of this page. Would anyone object to me removing the rfc and {{proposed}}?174.3.107.176 (talk) 02:41, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Be aware that consensus is a process, not a vote; although the yeas and nays are about evenly split, the page and its purpose are now actively being discussed, and with further discussion and reformation, it might yet become a guideline. Or not. The wheels are in motion, though; might as well let them turn.--Father Goose (talk) 03:14, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
As at the moment there is no clear consensus either way, I suggest we leave the RfC to run until it is automatically removed by the bot after a month at that point we can decide what the outcome of the RfC is. -- PBS (talk)
Based on the discussion that many editors are using this as if it were a guideline yet given the lack of full agreement, what I'd like best would to establish a new class of objects between "Essays" and "Guidelines", which I would call "Styles". Each would bear the initial template:
This is a style of Wikipedia editing. It is supported by a group of users as their preferred method of editing, but has not been adopted by community consensus as a guideline for Wikipedia as a whole
Then editors who start or substantially work on an article might add to the talk page
This article has been developed in accordance with the optional style "Quotation" Editors are requested to consider using this style to maintain consistency of tone throughout. A group of users supports this page and can be consulted at WP:Talk:Quotation
(The check mark should be substituted by a unique recognizable logo, and the color for the first should appear white on an Essay: page. wp:style currently redirects to Manual of Style but some other target should be chosen, unless this idea can be incorporated there. The "group of users" would be such as support it here, plus recruits, who would sign up to a numbered list like for a WikiProject; optionally it could actually be some sort of WikiProject. This would apply potentially to many other "more than essays" floating around.).
I think that this might safely span the gap between guidelines required for FACs or imposed by overbearing editors, and simple essays that are non-binding. Such a page would stay in Essay: namespace and retain this "legal status"; it would not be binding in FACs or other situations where guidelines become mandatory; but it would effectively offer a way for users to coalesce, while leaving room for alternate style guides supported by other user groups, and for independent decision making. Wnt (talk) 01:46, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I think that this idea has merit. I was thinking along the same lines myself, the other day. Probably the paramount aspect to a potential "style classification" is that they should first strive to be as permissive as is reasonable (which is always a tough tightrope to walk. Too permissive and the guide looses it's reason for being, too restrictive and it kills innovation.).
— V = IR(Talk • Contribs) 02:52, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I oppose this.174.3.98.20 (talk) 03:05, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Is there some good reason you have for editing under two names (an IP address and a username)? It is very irritating. Tony(talk) 03:09, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I remember that before I globalized my account, I got logged out of Wikipedia all the time and it was easy to end up editing as an IP by accident. I'm not sure that's the reason, but I think so - there's no obvious "timeout" parameter to set in Options. Wnt (talk) 18:46, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Questions[edit]

Generally, I am for the idea of making this a guideline, but there are a couple of questions/issues I have. The last of them I've altered in the proposed guideline because I think it's important to emphasize policy, but others are less urgent, and I'm loathe to substantially alter a document under consideration.

  • "Quotes, especially those from living people, must be attributed properly: not to do so is often plagiarism."

Why especially those from living people?

  • "As a courtesy to other contributors, if removing a quotation, please say so on the article's talk page."

This is a bit unnecessary, I think. There are situations where it's proper to say so on the article's talk page and situations where it's pointless. Sometimes, edit summary explanation is sufficient; sometimes quotations will be removed in a general overhaul of material and this wouldn't seem to call for singling out.

  • "Inappropriate tone. Where a quotation presents rhetorical language in place of more neutral, dispassionate tone preferred for encyclopedias, it can be a backdoor method of inserting a non-neutral treatment of a controversial subject into Wikipedia's narrative on the subject, and should be avoided."

Sometimes, the non-neutral treatment is the point. As it says in WP:NFC and in the "Quoting copyrighted text" section, quotes can be used to "attribute a point of view". Immediately springs to mind critical evaluation of books, films, music, etc. :)

  • "NOR. A quotation should not be used to support original research."

I suspect this may cause some confusion, I think, in how a quotation can be used to support original research. I wonder if this could be clarified by a change along the lines of, "A quotation that does not directly relate to the topic of the article or directly support the information as it is presented should not be used, to avoid original research."

  • Quotations and fair use section

I think it needs to be emphasized that extensive quotes are forbidden. "Editors are advised to exercise good judgment" seems a bit weak there, as I can assure you there are plenty of editors whose good judgment will tell them that quoting three pages from a four page article is necessary and appropriate. :) I've altered this to read "Editors are advised to exercise good judgment and to remain mindful of the fact that while brief excerpts are permitted by policy, extensive quotations are forbidden." Better wording more than welcome. --Moonriddengirl(talk) 12:27, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I support all of these points. Is someone prepared to address them in the text? Tony(talk) 12:46, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Additional point: why is three words the standard for suspecting plagiarism? Tony(talk) 08:32, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Do people agree that the page needs examples to engage with the very editors we are trying to reach? Tony(talk) 11:30, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ I've made several of the changes, but am not sure how to word a change to "Inappropriate tone." Suggestions would be welcome. I saw the three word recommendation, too, Tony and wondered about that. I didn't say anything, though, because it's probably appropriate to drop quotation marks around a run of three words if they are strikingly original words. If it's "He was born", well, not so much. That's a bit difficult to convey in a short guideline, though, that the degree of creativity of the language may dictate how much you can use without quotation marks, while still making it clear that the threshold for creativity is quite low in copyright concerns. I'm not sure how I feel about examples; brevity is important, but if there are difficult concepts, they may be useful. --Moonriddengirl(talk) 11:40, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Problem is, examples tend to become benchmarks. People like simple rules and they will derive them from the examples. Examples would need associated reasoning to demonstrate the ambiguity, especially if it was around a three-word count. "He was born" vs. "sprang from womb" is pretty easy, but there are a lot of in-betweens. Franamax (talk) 11:58, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree with both of you, but I don't think we've yet got to the core of it.

First, the decision as to whether text unbounded by quotation marks is plagiarism comes down to more than just the length of the string of words: to that might be added the extent to which it (i) is common knowledge; (ii) occurs elsewhere (especially on the Internet, which seems to harbour multiplicities of some word strings); and (iii) is distinctive, linguistically, conceptually, intellectually. Possibly there are other relevant criteria that might also be weighed up in some circumstances. I'm drawn to the example of the criteria for judging whether an action is canvassing on WP; it's in the table at the top of that guideline. While individual judgement will often be at issue in deciding whether text is plagiarised, we desperately need a framework spelled out.
Second, any guideline for quotations has to deal with the mechanics of (a) whether to quote directly or to paraphrase; and (b) if paraphrasing, to what extent and how paraphrased and original text should differ.
These matters are all entangled. I'm starting to wonder whether they should not all be treated in a single guideline, encompassing quoting, paraphrasing, and plagiarism.
Thoughts? Tony(talk) 13:42, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Good idea. When one of the editors opposed promotion, I was thinking maybe wp:plagarism should be merged with this guideline. But, anyhow we would need to examine all guidelines if we were to propose a merger.174.3.107.176 (talk) 14:54, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
@ User:Tony1:
  • How do you think paraphrasing differs from what we're doing all the time, hopefully selecting and concisely?
  • How would you define plagiarism that does not include quotations?
  • How would you handle quotations that have become stock phrases in the relevant sub-culture? --Philcha (talk) 15:29, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I think I like the idea of a CANVASS-style grid to illustrate the "sliding scale" idea of how to make assessments. Similar to the guidance available there, editors will tend to be drawn toward the centre green-zone areas. However I think we're dealing with a hypercube here, there are axes of: length of text; distinctiveness of text; substantiality of the copied work; structure of sentences and paragraphs; substantial structure of work; ownership status of work; use of in-line, block or no quote marks; method of attribution; relevance of copied text to article. I might be able to add a few more. These factors all weigh into decisions, but different factors have different weights in assessing copyvio, plagio, quality of attribution, quality of article, etc. - so I think we'll either have an awful lot of matrices in one guideline, or continue to assess each aspect individually. But I do like the idea of sliding scales. Franamax (talk) 00:47, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

I think we should keep the plagiarism and quotations pages separate. As long as a quotation is attributed, it isn't plagiarism, although if it's too long, it can still be copyright infringement. Meanwhile there are stylistic and compositional issues with quotations (how they should be formatted, when they should be used) that don't intersect with plagiarism. And I'd say outright plagiarism (copying someone else's text without attribution) isn't a quotation at all.--Father Goose (talk) 23:11, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

Something that is marked as a quote but with no useful attribution (for example or such as ) may be both plagiarism and a quote, and is surely not acceptable whatever you call it. I would also emphasize that quotes should normally be attributed in the text, not just in a footnote. DES(talk) 00:24, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
I have reservations about DES's quotes should normally be attributed in the text, not just in a footnote. E.g.
  • From the reader's pov, the quote is a benefit (if well-chosen) but attribution in the text makes it harder for the reader to read the rest.
  • Some books and academic articles have 10 or more authors. How would you handle these?
@bullet2: Just say et. al., and then the reference.174.3.98.20 (talk) 14:52, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Consider a hypothetical example each way:
    Now how does the first version "makes it harder for the reader to read the rest"? If you thought I meant that the attribution in the text should substitute for the full citation in the footnote than I expressed myself poorly. I meant nothing of the sort. Similarly, a scholarly article could be quoted like this:
      as opposed to
        Do those exmaples make my meanign clearer?

        Three words[edit]

        The "three words" sentence needs to go. There are too many cases when it's just wrong. "Jane Smith was born on February 29, 1947" is 7 words, but does not need to be put in quotes, because there is no other reasonable way to say it. "Nuts" is one word, but a very important quotation. It's certainly true that having rules helps, but not when they're so often wrong. --GRuban (talk) 15:09, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

        Ok, let's take it out and leave it for wp:plagarism. Let's turn this into a style guideline, without actually having to dictate credit.174.3.98.20 (talk) 15:53, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
        I think it should be not simply removed, but rewritten to indicate the delicate, case-by-case nature of the decision on when to mark something as a quotation. DES(talk) 00:54, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

        ┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘ I propose the following:

        When must words from a source be treated as a quotation?
        "When a sequence of words is copied from a source, it will usually be a quotation, and must be marked and attributed as such. If the sequence is purely factual and fairly short, and there is no other obvious way to state the fact, it need not be treated as a quotation. For example "Jane Smith was born on February 29, 1947" need not be treated as a quotation even if copied exactly from a source. Nor need a list of facts arranged in an obvious manner, for example an alphabetized or chronological list of names or events. However, statements of opinion, or statements with any originality of expression must be treated as quotation. In some cases a single word must be treated as a quotation: or, more realistically, . If in doubt, treat any sequence of three or more words copied directly from a source as a quotation."

        What do you think of that longer but IMO more accurate statement? DES(talk) 01:25, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

        "When a sequence of words is copied from a source, it will usually be a quotation, and must be marked and attributed as such." It is not true that sequence of words is copied from a source, will usually be a quotation,..." (my emphasis) It depends on the origins of the source from which the text comes, and simultaneously it also depends on what the text says (is it non-NPOV) see wp:plagiarism. -- PBS (talk) 02:12, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
        Point noted, here is a revised version:
        When must words from a source be treated as a quotation?
        "When a sequence of words is copied from a source, it will in many cases constitute a quotation, and must be marked and attributed as such. If the sequence is purely factual and fairly short, and there is no other obvious way to state the fact, it need not be treated as a quotation. For example "Jane Smith was born on February 29, 1947" need not be treated as a quotation even if copied exactly from a source. Nor need a list of facts arranged in an obvious manner, for example an alphabetized or chronological list of names or events. For these and other cases where copied text need not be treated as a quotation, see Wikipedia:Plagiarism# What is not plagiarism

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