Using Sources in your Writing THREE WAYS TO EFFECTIVELY INTEGRATE SOURCE MATERIALS INTO YOUR WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
Using Sources There are three ways in which a source can be used in your writing: Summary (to state a text’s main ideas and key supporting points simply, briefly, and accurately in your own words), Paraphrase (to retell information from a text in roughly the same number of words but should be accurate and in your own words), or Direct Quote (to use the exact words from a text with quotation marks around the words).
Important Considerations All writers need to carefully consider which method (summary, paraphrase, or direct quote) to use when synthesizing the sources’ ideas with his or her own. Certain methods work better with particular content, types of source material, and writing purposes. All summaries, paraphrases, and quotations must have source citations both in-text in parentheses and on a works cited page. Often writers will not correctly cite their source if they summarize or paraphrase because they mistakenly think that since they are using their own words it d0esn’t need to be cited. Anytime a writer uses another author’s words or ideas, they must cite that author. A summary or paraphrase without a source citation is plagiarism!
Summary vs. Paraphrase The main idea of an entire source is briefly and clearly communicated in a summary; however, a paraphrase gives a detailed restatement of a source’s idea in its completeness. Since a paraphrase includes all of the writer’s main ideas, it is often as long as, and sometimes longer than, the original source. Whereas, summaries are always shorter. Paraphrases are most useful when you want to present or examine an author’s ideas but you do not think the original words merit direct quotation. Paraphrasing is good because it can help you to control the temptation to quote too much from a source.
Sources: Aaron, Jane E. The Little, Brown Compact Handbook. 7th ed. New York: Longman, 2010. Print. Hacker, Diana and Nancy Sommers. A Writer’s Reference 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. Print. Harris, Robert. Using Sources Effectively. 3rd ed. Glendale, CA: Pyrczak Publishing, 2011. Print. Howard, Rebecca Moore. Writing Matters: A Handbook for Writing and Research. New York: McGraw Hill, 2011. Print. Kirszner, Laurie G. and Stephen R. Mandell. The Brief Wadsworth Handbook. 6th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010. Print.