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Using Sources in a Paper: Home

Why Use Sources?

Most academic writing involves the use of research sources to

  • Present factual information
  • Support claims
  • Introduce diverse viewpoints
  • Review previous work on a subject
  • Provide a foundation for analysis
  • Provide material for synthesis

How to Use Source Material

When using material drawn from sources in your writing, make sure you

  1. Choose credible sources (see How to Evaluate Sources)
  2. Give credit to sources by using citations in the style required by your instructor
  3. Incorporate source materials in your writing by
    1. Making connections between source material and your own ideas
    2. Making connections between information from various sources

The three ways of incorporating source material in your writing are Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing.

When you quote, you reproduce the exact words used by your source. When you paraphrase, you put the information entirely into your own words, including most or all of the details contained in the original. When you summarize, you include the main idea and the most important supporting details.