Quoting directly from the sources you have read can be very effective in an essay. For example, direct quotations from other authors can lend their authority to your support of a particular claim. Such quotations can also enhance the clarity and appeal of your paper. Nevertheless, most instructors encourage their students to use direct quotations sparingly.
Indirect quotation is an alternative strategy for bringing source material into an essay by means of summarizing and paraphrasing. Effectively summarizing an author’s ideas in your own words shows your instructor that you understand the author’s meaning. Summarizing in your own words how an author connects several ideas shows that you understand those connections.