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Strategy: Integrating

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Strategy: Integrating & Citing

You listen in on conversations around you--- You read and capture the voices of other writers --- You add your voice to the conversation. As you join in, you will make choices about how you attribute the works of others. 


Entering the Conversation

As a scholar, you will enter into conversation with other writers and thinkers. As you do so, you will build upon past conversations and point to future ones. The norms of academic writing require that you ethically and responsibly point to the sources you consult, in order to:   

  • Frame the issue and share your understandings
  • Signal your allegiance or disagreement with others
  • Establish your credibility as a knowledgeable participant
  • Supply evidence, examples, and findings 

Citing Others

To use information legally and ethically, you need to cite any information not originally created by you, including:

  • Quotations
  • Key terms or phrases
  • Ideas & theories
  • Facts not broadly known
  • Images & sounds

Writing Methods

There are three main effective ways to use the work of others in your writing:  


Brief presentation, in your own words, of another author's main points as related to your writing.

Useful practice when:

  • You need only short passages or sentences to convey the meaning
  • You wish to draw your readers’ attention to particular points, conclusions or observations


Your interpretation of another author's words or ideas, usually shorter passages or paragraphs.

Useful practice when:

  • Meaning is more important than exact phrasing
  • Ideas or resources are more important than exact wording
  • Simplifying concepts will help your reader


Your use of an author's exact words, terms, or phrases in direct quotes. 

Useful practice when:

  • Author’s words are very effective or significant
  • Author is a recognized authority
  • Exactness, accuracy, or conciseness matter
  • You are pointing to or analyzing the original text



Mountain Top By Alice Noir for the Noun ProjectTip: Summarizing is also a good note taking strategy and allows you to test your understanding.

The more deeply you understand a topic, the better you will be at paraphrasing and quoting.

Read actively! Take notes and make annotations. 

Learn more about when to paraphrase and when to quote.

Introducing Sources

Can your readers distinguish which content is yours and which belongs to sources you are citing? To help the reader make those distinctions, introduce your sources. For example: In the Library Chronicles, George Norlin claims ....

Try some of these verbs to help introduce your sources. 

acknowledges | adds  | admits | agrees | argues | asserts | believes | claims | comments | compares | confirms | contends | declares | demonstrates |denies | describes | disputes | emphasizes | endorses | explains | grants | illustrates | indicates | implies | insisted | narrates | notes | observes | offers outlines | reasons | refutes | rejects | reports | responds | says | shows | suggested | writes


 Mountains by Alice Noir from the Noun Project