So, you know how to find your sources. You know how to evaluate and choose your sources. But, now what do you do with them? And why do you need to integrate them into your paper? It is essential to use sources in your paper for several reasons:
All of the above creates authority for you as the researcher and writer.
Below, you will find information on ways to incorporate your sources into your paper. Regardless of which methods you use-- if you are using information from another source you must provide an appropriate citation.
When in doubt, CITE IT.
A direct quotation is taking someone else's exact words, ideas, or thoughts and putting them into your paper. You must put quotation marks ("...") around these to indicate that you have taken an exact quote. Indicate a page number of where this quote came from.
You will want to use direct quotes sparingly. If you use several direct quotes throughout your paper, you are only showing what other people have said on the subject. Your reader wants to know what you think-- remember you are building credibility.
There are instances where you may want to use direct quotes:
What if you have a longer quote? This is called block quoting.
In APA 7th edition:
In MLA 8th edition:
For more information, check out Purdue OWL's citation guides.
Paraphrasing is restating information from another source, using your own voice and words. Make it clear who said what and cite the paraphrased information.
If you cannot restate the ideas or information in your own words and must copy it directly, make sure to put quotation marks ("...") around the information you are using (see the Direct Quoting box).
Summarizing pertains to taking the main ideas and information from a resource and conveying them in your own words. This is similar to paraphrasing, except you are referring to the piece as a whole, rather than one statement.
Summarizing is not giving a play-by-play of the entire source, but only pointing out the key points of the piece.
Please note: It is still required that you credit this source as a whole!
Transition words can help your reader recognize when you are about to refer to another's work or ideas. Some examples:
You do not need to cite information that comes from common knowledge. These are items that are known by most people and you can find in many different sources.
"The sky is blue."
"The Earth orbits around the Sun."
"Social media use can be addicting."
"Fast food is bad for your health."
However, you will also want to keep in mind who your audience is. If you are writing a paper on depression in college students, "Depression affects many individuals" would be a common knowledge statement that would not need to be cited. However, if you got more technical about how depression affects the brain, "Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain," may need to have a cited source, especially if your audience is not familiar with psychology and disorders.
Remember, however: When it doubt, just cite it!