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Pitfall #3: Acknowledging quotations incompletely

Here is the same source paragraph from David Whitford's article on Martin Luther:

Original Source:
In July of 1505, Martin was caught in a horrific thunderstorm.  Afraid that he was going to die, he screamed out a vow, “Save me, St. Anna, and I shall become a monk.” St. Anna was the mother of the Virgin Mary and the patron saint of miners. Most argue that this commitment to become a monk could not have come out of thin air and instead represents an intensification experience in which an already formulated thought is expanded and deepened. On July 17th Luther entered the Augustinian Monastery at Erfurt.

Source: David M. Whitford, "Martin Luther," Internet Encylopedia of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/luther/.

Pitfall #3 - Acknowledging quotations incompletely
Luther resolved to enter a monastery after a frightening near-death experience in a thunderstorm. According to David Whitford, "most argue that this commitment to become a monk represents an intensification experience" in which a thought already formulated at an earlier time is expanded and deepened.1

1 David M. Whitford, "Martin Luther," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/luther/.

The first sentence here is a legitimate paraphrase of Whitford. The second sentence may appear at first glance to be legitimate too, because it quotes from Whitford and cites him as the source. But the quotation marks here are inadequate. They suggest that only the first half of the  sentence is a quotation from Whitford. In fact, however, the phrase “a thought already formulated at an earlier time is expanded and deepened” also comes from Whitford, and that is NOT indicated here. This may be careless mistake, but it suggests a deliberate attempt to mislead the reader; using the quotation marks gains the reader’s trust, but the writer then betrays that trust by falsely implying that the last phrase is a piece of original writing. This feels manipulative and dishonest.

Another problem here is that the part that is quoted from Whitford is quoted inaccurately; the words “could not have come out of thin air and instead” have been omitted from the quotation, but the student has not indicated that omission.

Pitfall #3 averted - Full and accurate quotation
Luther resolved to enter a monastery after a frightening near-death experience in a thunderstorm. According to David Whitford, "Most argue that this commitment to become a monk... represents an intensification experience in which an already formulated thought is expanded and deepened."1

1David M. Whitford, “Martin Luther,” Internet Encylopedia of Philosophy. http://www.iep.utm.edu/luther/

Here the student quotes the whole passage accurately and identifies the whole quotation as such. The omission of the words "could not have come out of thin air and instead” has been properly indicated with elision marks (three dots: "..."). (For more examples of the proper use of elision marks, see the section "Represent your sources accurately".)