Careful note-taking and paraphrasing ideas
"Much preparation for assignments involves taking notes from books or materials that you are reading. In taking notes, you should be careful not to copy sentences or paragraphs directly, unless you place them in inverted commas. If you omit the inverted commas, you might forget when you get around to writing that you copied directly and therefore plagiarise without realising.
It is good academic practice to learn to paraphrase arguments. To do so, you should read, say, a chapter of a textbook and use your own words and your own sequence of ideas to record the arguments as they relate to the issues raised by the assignment." (Royal Holloway, 2011)
Royal Holloway, (2011) Essay writing and referencing guide. www.rhul.ac.uk [accessed 24 April 2012]
The above paragraph (carefully identified as a direct quotation) is taken from:
Royal Holloway School of Management Essay Writing and Referencing Guide
I strongly recommend that you are very familiar with each and every line of this document.
A short example from me using O'Brien, J. (2012) The allure of VW camper vans http://royalhollowaymarketing.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/allure-of-vw-camper-vans.html [accessed 24 April 2012]
You will see in the first paragraph there is a blend of a short quote and some paraphrasing. The style of the second and third paragraphs could be criticised in an academic submission because they are both rather over reliant on quotations and lack sufficient re-engineering from the author (oops ! that's me...). Please note all of the ideas have come from research and these are carefully referenced in text before any new ideas are introduced. Use direct quotation sparingly and make sure you know the two different ways to demonstrate a direct quote (hint: short and long quotes are shown differently).