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Library DIY

Integrating sources in my paper

It is important to draw on the work of experts to formulate your own ideas. Make sure that your sources are cited properly. Backing up your points with supporting evidence from experts provides evidence or support for your argument or thesis statement. You are contributing to a scholarly conversation with scholars who are experts on your topic.

This is the difference between a scholarly research paper and any other paper. You must include your own voice with your analysis and ideas along with scholars or  experts.

All your sources, must relate to your thesis, or central argument, whether they are in agreement or not. It is a good idea to address all sides of the argument or thesis to make your stance stronger.

What is the best way to incorporate sources into your research paper?

Three ways to present sources in support of your central argument are:

  • Direct Quote: learn more about Quoting.
  • Paraphrase: learn more about Paraphrasing.
  • Summary: much like a paraphrase, but used in cases where you are trying to give an overview of many ideas. As in paraphrasing, quotation marks are not used, but a citation is still necessary.

When including a source in your paper, remember to use these three important components:

  • Introductory phrase to the source material: learn more about Signal and Lead-in Phrases.
  • Source material: A direct quote, paraphrase, or summary with proper citation.
  • Analysis of source material: Your response, interpretations, or arguments regarding the source material should introduce or  follow it. When incorporating source material into your paper, relate your source and analysis back to your original thesis.

Contact the DU Tutoring Center  for help with integrating sources into your paper.