Help Guides » Writing with Sources

Writing with Sources


📓Read & Take Notes

Reading for use in your writing is different than reading for content. Your goal is to quickly identify how the work relates to your research question or argument as well as how it relates to the other sources you found on the topic. 

▶️Watch: How to Read an Article

▶️Watch How to Take Notes

📄Single Source Note Taking Worksheet (DOC)


⚠️Accidental Plagiarism

  • List your source information and include page numbers in your notes.
  • Put quotations or paraphrases in a different color or separate document in your notes.
  • Avoid reading a classmate’s writing, and don’t forget to cite ideas from class discussions or lectures. 
  • More tips from Harvard University

▶️Watch 4 Ways to Check for Plagiarism


💭Synthesizing Sources

Synthesis: combing the ideas of more than one source with your own ideas and analysis in writing.

Templates to Help You Organize Ideas

Synthesis Matrix (EXCEL)
Synthesis Matrix (WORD)

Example of Resource Synthesis

📝Quote, Paraphrase & Summarize

“While paraphrase and summary are effective ways to introduce your reader to someone’s ideas, quoting directly from a text allows you to introduce your reader to the way those ideas are expressed by showing such details as language, syntax, and cadence.” –Harvard Guide to Using Sources

🌟Harvard’s The Nuts & Bolts of Integrating Sources

▶️When and How to Quote & Paraphrase Video

▶️How to Make Your Own Voice Stand Out Video


🦸Source Roles

Sources can provide:

  • background information
  • arguments or ways of thinking
  • counter arguments
  • evidence for arguments
  • authoritative voice on topic

▶️Watch a video explanation


💬Have a Conversation

Your paper should read like a conversation between different experts on a topic (including you).

  • Show your respect for other authors by accurately and clearly citing, quoting, and representing their writing.
  • Expand on their ideas, don’t just summarize them, like you would in a conversation.
  • Consider how each author relates to other experts on the same topic.