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Do-It-Yourself Library: Integrating Sources Into my Paper

I Need Help Integrating Sources Into My Paper

You will often want to draw on the work of others to support your own ideas. Use clear references and citations to indicate from whom the ideas come.

Avoid inserting source information without adding your own analysis; instead include your own voice and your own analysis and ideas. You will likely want to include sources which are are in agreement AND in disagreement with your own views. This way you can recognize and respond to multiple perspectives on the given issue. In doing so, you can make your own argument stronger.

Quotations, Paraphrases and Summaries

There are three basic methods of incorporating the thoughts or words of someone else in a research paper: quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. This chart explains the main requirements of each.

Quotation

Paraphrase

Summary

Document the original source.

Document the original source.

Document the original source.

Put quotation marks around any words you copy exactly from the original source.

Choose words that differ significantly from the original.

Choose words that differ significantly from the original.

Use sparingly and choose wisely. Limit quotations to phrases or sentences that really pack a punch.

Develop phrase, sentence and paragraph structures that differ significantly from the original.

Develop phrase, sentence and paragraph structures that differ significantly from the original.

Avoid “dropped quotes” by integrating them smoothly into your sentences and paragraphs.

Accurately communicate the intent of the original source.

Express the most important information or ideas in a condensed format objectively (without your opinions).

Here is a tutorial on how to use 

 

Components to include when integrating a source: 

  • Introductory phrase to the source material: More about Signal Phrases or Introductory Phrases
  • Source material: A direct quote, paraphrase, or summary with proper citation
  • Analysis of source material: After presenting the source material, explain it, analyze it, and relate it to your own ideas. This is crucial, and many people forget to do it!

Get expert assistance by NWACC composition faculty to improve your writing skills using the NWACC Writing Center. Individual consultations in person or via email are available; please review the website for details.


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