Citing a Source When using an outside source, it is key to cite your use of the source in your essay. In other words, you need to give credit to another person’s ideas. There are two ways of citing an outside source in the text of your essay: Signal Phrase – using a short introductory phrase that tells who the author is and/or where the outside information is from. Ex. In her book Badlands, Sarah Jones argues… Parenthetical citation – a citation at the end of the section that uses outside ideas that tells who the author is and/or where the outside information is from. Ex. (Jones 12)
Ways of Source Use There are three main ways to use a source: Summaries Paraphrases Quotations
Summaries A summary is restating the main ideas or points of an outside source in your own words. A summary needs to stay true to what the author of the outside source is saying. A summary is a way of presenting the general ideas of an author to your reader. You should also tailor your summary to meet the goals of your essay. Avoid summarizing information that is irrelevant to the points that you are making. Always use a signal phrase to introduce a summary and use a parenthetical citation if possible.
Paraphrases A paraphrase is when you restate a specific portion of a text in your own words; usually a sentence or two. A paraphrase needs to be syntactically different than the original source. This means that you cannot simply substitute words when paraphrasing. Your paraphrase needs to be written in a completely different manner from the original language. Always use a signal phrase and a parenthetical citation when using a paraphrase.
Quotes A quote is copy word-for-word of what the author said in your essay. It is important to be sure to use quotation marks “” when using a quote. Also remember that a quote can be shorter than a full sentence. The use of a short phrase or specific term from a source will need to be cited. Always use a signal phrase and a parenthetical citation when using a quote.
Integrating a Source Anytime you use a source, it is key that you properly integrate the outside information into your essay, so that it makes sense in your essay. To properly integrate your source it is key to create a Source Sandwich, which has three parts: A signal phrase (the top bun) The use of the source (the meat) An explanation of what the outside information means and how it supports your point (the bottom bun)
Explaining Your Source There are several ways of starting the explanatory sentence of your source sandwich. For example: Basically, X is saying… In other words, X believes… In making this comment, X argues that… X’s point is that… and as you can see this supports my point by…