As you move along the educational ladder, it becomes more and more important to be able to reference other scholars in your work. Here are four steps to effectively incorporating outside resources into your work!
Introduce the Resource
Don’t just drag someone into your paper without at least giving them an introduction! Your introduction should link your outside information into what you’ve already said, in order to maintain cohesion within the paper. For example:
Heart attacks can strike without warning. According to Dr. Bennett, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic…
And so on.
Incorporate the Resource
Whether you choose to put your information in as a summary, paraphrase, or quotation, you need to make sure it conveys the part of the author’s message you truly want to emphasize best. To put in a large chunk of information, a summary works best. Paraphrasing also works well for large chunks of information. For a smaller, detailed portion of information that you think is phrased particularly well, use a quotation.
Interpret the Resource
This is the part where you explain why the information you just brought in is relevant to your argument. Explain what the author is saying, and then connect it to your argument. For example:
Dr. Bennett’s claims have dispelled the myth that a heart attack is often unpredictable. With regular visits to the doctor…
Document the Location
Now, you need to be sure to cite where you’re getting your material from. Try the Purdue OWL if you’re uncertain on the latest standards for your particular citation style.
Using sources doesn’t have to be scary! It can often help you refine your argument and make it stronger.