An experienced member's edit to an answer of mine, placed a part of it into a quotation block. The thing is, it isn't a quotation, I paraphrased an idea from the source text.

Marking something as a quotation, as I know it from academic or journalistic writing, is for word for word reproduction of a source. Paraphrased passages get a reference, but aren't formatted in any special way.

Is it okay or even desirable to put paraphrased ideas into quotation blocks to make the formatting clearer? If not, is a somewhat lengthy quotation with omissions and added emphasis preferable to paraphrasing in running text? What's the preferred approach here?

I searched the meta and glanced over the help center, but didn't find anything beyond basic rules for quoting which didn't mention paraphrasing. Sorry, if I missed something.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That's my bad! I hadn't bothered to check the site if those were quotations and just thought since you were italicizing, that you were quoting. \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Mar 23, 2017 at 0:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @daze413 No harm done and I learned a bit about site guidelines - or had confirmed what I suspected, at least. So, all is well, I'd say. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 23, 2017 at 8:17

1 Answer 1


Your Spidey sense is right. You weren't quoting something, you were summarising or restating or paraphrasing a point. They were your own original words authored for that post, and quotation marks and quotation boxes are not appropriate formatting for your own words. (Except when you're quoting yourself, which you weren't doing here.)

A quote box or quotation marks would suggest I should expect to find that text within your link, with allowance for the possible exception of edit notes such as “[sic]”. This is not the case.

I've rolled back the edit.


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