There are three main ways of incorporating sources into your paper:
Quote - Any time you use the exact wording found in a source it needs to be "quoted." Use minimally and only when the source has written something in an interesting/distinctive way.
Paraphrase - Putting an excerpt from a source in your own words, rephrasing but not shortening it.
Summarize - Boiling an excerpt down to its essential points, like describing an entire book in one or two sentences.
Tips for quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing:
Remember, all three methods require a citation! See our Citation Styles page for more on how to do this.
Limit block quotes (long, direct quotations from a source) as much as possible.
Don't do this: "A quotation from a source without any explanation." It's called a dropped quote, it just sits in a paragraph on its own. Always explain where a quotation is from and why it's interesting. Analyze its language and explain its relevance to the research question you are pursuing.
Introducing and commenting on every quotation, paraphrase, and summary makes it easier to distinguish your voice from the source's.
Summaries are handy when you need to explain a lot of sources in a small space, to help the reader understand the background of your topic. Choose your words carefully to emphasize the most relevant aspects of longer passages.