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Incorporating Sources into your Writing

When writing, it is important to properly incorporate sources into the paragraph; otherwise, the sources (quotations, paraphrases, or summaries) appear as though they have been dropped into the writing.

In order to properly support a piece of evidence in the writing, the writer must introduce the evidence (by providing a lead-in), write in the piece of evidence (quotation, paraphrase, or summary) and explain the evidence in relation to the overall issues, arguments or ideas in the writing.

1. Lead-in:

  • one quarter the length of the quotation, paraphrase, summary
  • explain source background or credibility

2. Quotation/Paraphrase/Summary:

  • make it as long as necessary
  • make sure you include the most essential elements
  • a quotation or paraphrase should only provide evidence or support your point, not make a point for you

3. Explanation of Quotation/Paraphrase/Summary:

  • twice as long as the cited material
  • explanation must apply the source to the argument of the paper