26 Integrating Source Material: Quoting, Summarizing, and Paraphrasing
Integrating Source Material (Quoting, Summarizing, Paraphrasing)
Types of Source Integration
A summary is when you take several ideas, or several main ideas, from a large chunk of text and reduce it in size. Summarizing also happens when you take data from a chart or a graph and use it in your text. For the length of papers that you’ll be writing in an Eng 101 or 102 course, you won’t need block quotations (quotes longer than four lines of text), so it’s a good idea to summarize information from larger passages. When summarizing, use your own words to convey the article’s main points; more than two of the same words is too much like the original source.
Original text: long. Your version: short. Quotation marks: no. Citation: yes.
Original text and Your version=same length (roughly). Quotation marks: no. Citation: yes.
3. Direct Quotation
Original text and Your version: are the same, except you’ve added an attributive tag. Quotation marks: yes. Citation: yes.
MLA In-Text Citation Examples for Summaries, Paraphrases, and Quotations
MLA requires the author’s last name and page number in parentheses at the end of any source material cited.
- Summary: The study found people were happier when browsing dank memes, and that they tended to live longer (Smith 24).
- Paraphrase: Lifespans increased in over half of the study’s participants (Smith 24).
- Direct Quotation: In her study of the positive effects of memes published in The Journal of Meme Psychology, Jane Smith found, “sixty-five percent of subjects who self-reported extended browsing of ‘dank’ memes lived longer lives” (24).
Basic Strategies for Integrating Source Quotations
When you first cite a source, you may want to name the author and the source in your :
- In her article “Quoting Sources in Your Composition Assignments,” Jane Smith states, “Insert quote here” (24).
- Writing in the Journal of Psychological Research, Jane Smith argues, “Proper source integration is key to a strong research paper” (246).
If you use multiple quotes from the same source, you can shorten the attributive tag:
- In the same article, Smith also claims, ” This is just a sample quote” (27).
- Smith later suggests, “Pay attention to the formatting and the variety of verbs these samples use” (248).
Even brief transitions can establish a relationship between the source material and your own points:
- Smith complains, “Students don’t vary their source integration enough” (28).
- In fact, some research shows, “Seriously, they don’t” (Smith 28).
At the very least, signal that a quotation is going to appear:
- One source states, “This is a transition” (Jones 44).
- Jones argues, “The reader knows the quote’s origin” (25).
There are a variety of verbs suitable for attributive tags. You should try to use ones that are most accurate for your quotation:
X acknowledges X adds X admits X agrees X argues X asserts X believes X comments
X complains X confirms X concedes X counters X denies/does not deny X emphasizes
X finds X implies (There are many more–try googling “attributive tags”)
Basic Post-Quotation Strategies
Just like attributive tags, there are a limited number of ways to signal you’re restating source material. You should use them:
- In other words, the source is saying .
- Basically, Smith is suggesting .
You can also signal when you connect a source’s evidence to your own argument:
- This supports my claim that .
- Since Smith’s study shows , we should .
Introducing quotes establishes where you found the quotation and helps you clearly articulate that you’re offering an expert’s information to support your own argument. However, that’s just the first step to using source material effectively. With proper planning, a single quote can form the bulk of a paragraph. Here’s an example:
Sentences 1a. and 1b.: A supporting point that is going to use the source as evidence, and a sentence that signals a quote will follow.
Sentence 2: The quote, with a transition that explains the quote’s origin.
Sentence 3: A sentence that explains the quote information.
Sentences 4a and b: Further elaboration that explains the significance of the source information.
Sentence 5: A sentence connecting the quotation to the paper’s argument.
A brief transition that introduces a direct quotation in your text. The simplest version looks something like this: Smith states, "Always use an attributive tag with direct quotations."