How do I get the most out of my sources?
An important task in a research paper is to take the ideas and words of experts, found in the sources you have gathered, and synthesize them into your paper so that they support your thesis statement. This gives credibility to your written work. When you selected your sources, you probably made some preliminary choices about what to quote, summarize, and paraphrase in your paper. Your next step is to integrate these expert ideas into your work.
Some basic steps for integrating a source into your research paper would be to:
- Briefly introduce the source (e.g. signal phrases).
- Provide the source (as a quotation, paraphrase, or summary).
- Cite it with an in-text citation.
- Comment on the source, or explain how it supports the point you are making in your paper.
Depending on whether you are using the MLA or APA citation style, you can learn more about how to integrate sources into your paper by going to: