Overview

 

Using other people's ideas allows you to make intellectual progress. Rather than struggle to make connections that others have already shared, start with their knowledge and advance farther.

 

Appropriately building on credible sources brings credibility to your work. There are three approaches to using someone else's ideas: quote, paraphrase, and summary

 

Each time you use a source-- whether by quote, paraphrase, or summary-- acknowledge the contribution in two ways. Attribution acknowledges a source where the information is placed. Citation  provides all the details of the source. Citations are combined in a "Works Cited" at the end, or placed as a footnote on the same page as the attributed information.

 

Both attribution and citation are required to demonstrate credibility and avoid plagairism. 

 

Use Sources

Citation

 

Citation is a formal record detailing every source you quote, paraphrase, or summarize. The goal of all citation styles is the same: providing complete source information in a consistent format. In high school, we most often use MLA formatting for this record. In college, English, World Language, and other Humanities courses continue to use MLA. Other fields of study, and some scholarly publications used different formats. A new format can take time to learn, but they all have the same goal and the same overall process. 

 

 

 

 

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Attribution

 

Identify the source where the information is placed.

 

Use a signal phrase to introduce the source

  • According to Ibram X. Kendi, "..."
  • Ibram X. Kendi states "..."

 

The first time a source is used, the signal phrase will usually include information about the source's authority to speak on the topic. 

  • Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, states "..." 

 

Once you attribute your source and establish their credibility, additional information from the same source can be attributed briefly.

  • Kendi further believes that...

 

Skills to Know

Related Research Guides

Resources

Nonfiction

eReading

Fiction

Memoir

Poetry

gallery/use sources
restate main/relevant ideas in the text. use my own style and 70% or more my own words. Length is shorter than original.
Copy original text. 100% original text.
restate all ideas from the text. Use my own style and 70% or more my own words. Length is equal to or longer than the original. Include all supporting ideas.
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