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Academic Integrity

Guide to having academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism

Techniques for Integrating Sources

There are three main techniques used in most research assignments/papers to properly integrate and incorporate source material: Quoting, Summarizing, and Paraphrasing.  Most well-written assignments will use a combination of the three techniques, but the techniques should be used appropriately in different situations.

  
All three techniques require appropriately formatted citations--because in all three techniques you are borrowing the words and/or ideas of someone else. 

Click on the appropriate tabs in the left navigation to learn more about each technique.

 

TIP: Cite as you write, or at minimum, use some method to indicate to yourself which words are borrowed and which words are your own:

  • Put all borrowed words and/or ideas in quotation marks right away, especially if they are the source's exact words.
  • Highlight borrowed info--this feature is available in both Word and Google Docs
  • Use a placeholder at the end of sentences/passages that use borrowed info, such as: (Citation Needed) or (Jones article) or (EPA website)

TIP: When summarizing or paraphrasing, don't look at the source material while you're writing your version:

  • Read over the passage several times, until you feel confident you know what the author's main ideas are and could explain them to someone else.
  • Without looking at the original, write down phrases and ideas that you will want to use in your paragraph (not full sentences yet).
  • Write your summary or paraphrase in sentence form.
  • Compare your work to the original.  If any words/phrases are the same, or if the structure is very similar, re-write your work until is conveys the same meaning as the original but in your own voice.

 

As with any academic integrity questions, please consult the librarians, Learning Center tutors, and/or your professors for help.  (Remember--even professional writers often have editors!)