Writing with Sources

Learn to summarize, paraphrase, and cite sources. Weave others’ ideas and words into your texts in ways that support your thesis/research question, information, rhetorical stance.

Writing with Sources concerns

  • how to weave the ideas and language of others into the fabric of your texts
  • how to quote, paraphrase, summarize
  • how to navigate ethical concerns, plagiarism guidelines, copyright, and intellectual property.

See Also
Information Literacy

Weaving the ideas and language of others into the fabric of your text can be challenging:

  • If you add too many quotes, paraphrases, or summarizes into your text, your reader may become unsure about what ideas and language you wrote versus what you imported.
  • if you don’t clarify the Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose of the outside source, your reader may dismiss the source as Fake News.

Writing with Sources provides strategic, practical advice for quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing sources.

Related Concepts

Attribution, Citation, & References

Avoid unintended plagiarism.

Information Literacy

Avoid being duped. Learn to be a critical consumer and producer of information. Critically evaluate information (e.g, distinguish fake news from real news). Be aware of ethical and unethical uses of information, including plagiarism. Strategically weave sources into your text without undermining your purpose, voice or tone.

Information Literacy Perspectives & Practices

Learn core competencies associated with identifying, finding, evaluating, applying, and acknowledging information.

Intellectual Property

Understand intellectual property, copyright, and . In our digital age, where users can easily download information, we must consider these issues from an ethical perspective as well.

Edit for Plagiarism

Consider using a plagiarism checklist as you draft and edit your work.


Understand the ethical responsibilities of authors. Avoid plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

Additional articles on Writing-with-sources:

  1. Block Quotations

    Block Quotations are long quotations, typically at least four lines of text (MLA) or 40 words (APA). Block quotations should...

  2. Double-Entry Response Format

    The double-entry format is a useful technique to help you extend your thinking about a source or to critique an...

  3. Edit for Plagiarism

    After you understand what plagiarism is, as well as how to avoid it, consider using a plagiarism checklist as you...

  4. Executive Summary

    A summary uses the writer’s own words to concisely explain the main point(s) or major argument(s) of a source or...

  5. Exercise: Analyzing Evidence

    Exercise: Analyzing Evidence Take whatever project draft on which you’re currently working and underline all of your quotes and paraphrases....

  6. Exercise: Figurative Language

    "Exercise: Figurative Language" was contributed by Allison Wise. Examine a famous speech or essay (political pieces and sermons work particularly...

  7. Flow: Integrate Textual Evidence (Quotes, Paraphrases, Summaries)

    Integrate Textual Evidence (Quotes, Paraphrases, Summaries) concerns your ability to weave citations into a text, to synthesize all available information,...

  8. How Much of this Quote is Vital to Your Point?

    Why is it important to use only the most vital part of a quote to support your point? Although the...

  9. Incorporate Evidence into a Research Paper

    When you think of the term “evidence,” what comes to mind? CSI? Law and Order? NCIS? Certainly, detectives and law enforcement officers use...

  10. Inserting or Altering Words in a Direct Quotation

    What punctuation should be used when words are inserted or altered in a direct quotation? When writers insert or alter...

  11. Introduce Evidence

    Can the reader distinguish between your ideas and those of your sources? You don’t want to take credit for the...

  12. Mix Quotes with Paraphrasing

    As with most other skills, practice is the best way to become effective at paraphrasing. Also, you may need to...

  13. Omitting Words from a Direct Quotation

    What punctuation should be used when words are omitted from a direct quotation? Dot com. Dot org. Dot edu. Dots...

  14. Paraphrase Accurately to Preserve the Source’s Ideas

    What does it mean to paraphrase? When paraphrasing, a writer uses his or her own words to restate someone else’s...