Using Sources

The success of any academic writing project depends upon an effective use of secondary sources throughout the research and writing process.

The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading in order to write.

A man will turn over half a library to make a book.

-Samuel Johnson

    On Integrating Source Material into Your Work

    Paraphrasing, Summarizing, & Quoting. Purdue OWL  |  Harvard Writing Center  |  Paraphrasing exercises from Purdue OWL  |  Successful vs. unsuccessful paraphrases from U of Wisconsin

    Synthesizing. A Synthesis Matrix as a Tool for Analyzing & Synthesizing Prior Research (Academic Coaching & Writing)  |  Template for Synthesis Matrix (NCSU)

    Evaluating & critiquing sources.   Example of a source critique (U West Georgia)  |  Margy's "Mad Libs" blog post  |  Pat Thompson on explaining and justifying the use of theory via a sentence skeleton

    Citations and quotations.  Determining what to cite or document (Princeton)|  Integrating quotations into your writing (Ashford University)  |  Ethical use of source material (UNC); also refer to your university's academic integrity policy

    Positioning yourself in relation to the conversation. Writing Commons 


    More Expert Tips

    Don't say that your work "extends" an earlier project, or another person's project (Karen Kelsky)


    Also, check out the Thesis and Dissertation page. Scroll down to the section on Literature Reviews.