A research paper can be made stronger through the use of quotations when you need to cite a key piece of primary source material, strengthen your argument through another writer's work, or highlight a term of art. It is important to both use quotations effectively and cite them properly though, in order to create a successful paper and avoid plagiarizing.
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Back Up Your Ideas As Well As Your Files. Most of us, including opinionated junior faculty members, lack the authority to back up our ideas on every subject. That's why we need to research the topic, and pool together the expert opinions that are available, together with some hard data to support or refute those opinions. You must clearly reference all substantial information in your paper, whether fact or opinion. If you borrowed it from someone else, you need to reference the source, even if it's not a direct quote. Direct quotations, by the way, are not only allowed but encouraged, as long as they are referenced.