Using Sources
​Using Sources
Sources are what you use to support or develop a position. They can range from a poem to a video to a dense, university text.

 Three Basic Types of Sources

​Academic ​Popular ​Primary
  • Written by researchers or subject experts
  • Sent through a review process
  • Audience is other members of the academic community
  • Often include discipline-specific jargon
  • Purpose is to report research and scholarly ideas
  • ​Written by journalists or professional writers
  • Intended for a wide audience
  • Available to the general public
  • Purpose is to entertain, report news, or summarize
  • ​Written by anyone with direct experience
  • Unedited, first-hand accounts
  • Not necessarily intended for any audience
  • Often personal




  • Magazine aticles
  • Newspaper articles
  • Books
  • Movies or television shows
  • Web sites



  • Songs
  • Interviews
  • Diaries and journals
  • Paintings
  • Court testimonies
  • Speeches

Credibility Test

  • Was it published recently?
  • Was it published by an academic institution (e.g., a college or university)?


Credibility Test
  • Was it published recently?
  • If it is a website, does it look professional?
  • Was it written/produced by an expert in the field?
  • Was it reviewed and approved by others?
Credibility Test
  • Has it been verified as true?
  • Has its author/producer been verified?


 Integrating Sources

​When you use a source in your writing, you can integrate exact quotations or paraphrase.


Integrating Quotations

  • Select the appropriate evidence to support your writing, in this case, you're selecting quotations to use as is.
  • Incorporate the quotation into your own writing, including removing words, adding words, or changing words correctly while maintaining the integrity of the quotation and avoiding plagiarism.
  • Cite the source of the quotation correctly.
  • Select the appropriate evidence to support your writing; in this case, you're selecting ideas to paraphrase.
  • Restate the ideas in your own words, using your own sentence structure.