It is agreeable that most sections of your dissertation should be in your own words. However, while writing a dissertation, it is important to know how to refer to other’s views and conclusions. There are two ways to do so – Quote them directly or paraphrase. When you rightly implement both or any of these ways, it reflects your academic ability to select the most relevant material for your topic, analyze it within your thesis context, and focus seriously on the language of the references.
As a rule of thumb, you choose to quote directly from a source when you feel that paraphrasing might make you lose the meaning of the original text or when you notice that the author’s text is more perceptive or concise than what yours might be. Similarly, you choose to paraphrase when you wish to articulate the key point in just a few words or point out the idea revealed instead of highlighting the words utilized to express it. For instance, you will choose to quote from a literary text because you may need to study the specific terms or phrases of the author.
To sum up, paraphrasing is the choice for sharing the idea, while quoting is essential to convey the vocabulary used to state the idea.