Is it possible to use a verbatim sentence of another research in our own studies?

I, as an undergraduate psychology student who doesn't have any research experience, have heard that this is not feasible legally and you must alter the format of your sentences. However, I think this is not just right! why do we have to change our sentences when we reference them! By referencing we are actually acknowledging that we are making use of another research. So, I wonder whether it's legitimately wrong, and if so, why?

I have done some searches on google but the only things to be found were about complete verbatim articles or how to reference something precisely the same way in English, which is beneficial for English learners. my search strings were:

  1. can you use verbatim sentence of a research?
  2. can you use verbatim sentence of an article?
  3. can we write a publication verbatim?

  4. can we write a publication verbatimly?

Incidentally, I must admit that some of my search strings look weird, but I'm a language learner, so please don't be hard on me. This brings me to the next inquiry if I haven't found any related information to my inquiry due to the bad search strings, could you please mention better ones?

  • So long as you provide a citation and reference, then it's normal (and expected). If you don't, then it's plagiarism. In fact, quotations normally should be verbatim. You are allowed to paraphrase in some cases, but you should say that you are paraphrasing—and still provide a citation and reference. I'm a little unclear about what, exactly, you are asking. Where have you heard that you "must alter the format of your sentences" when quoting somebody? That's simply wrong, at least without further detail and context. May 5, 2020 at 17:01
  • I heard this in a discussion with my cousin who had done some research and I thought maybe her experience is actually true, so that is why I asked this. Thank you for your helpful contribution, Jason.
    – Ali Sirous
    May 5, 2020 at 17:20
  • What is true is that if you use somebody else's words and express them in your own words differently enough (so different that it wouldn't be considered plagiarism), then you don't need to provide a citation. May 5, 2020 at 17:21
  • I see what you say
    – Ali Sirous
    May 5, 2020 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


If you are going to use someone else's words verbatim, block-quote and cite the original work.

If you are going to paraphrase someone else's words in your own work, to make a more streamlined presentation, credit them and cite their work. E.g. "John Smith suggested in his "cited work" that (paraphrase...)"

As a general rule, if you know that something you are writing is influenced by someone else's research and work, you should make the effort to acknowledge that the information and ideas come from that person, and are not your own creation. Implying that someone else's work is your own — even if you do it innocently or by accident — will impact your reputation as a scholar. Most academics will view it as (at best) lazy and irresponsible or (at worst) outright theft, and that is not how you want to be viewed in the small universe of an academic discipline.

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