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IPOL Writing Guide

Integrating Sources

In academic writing, it is very important that your reader knows when something is your idea or someone else's idea.  There are many ways to do this, and Harvard's guide below should help you start to understand how to integrate your sources successfully:

The Nuts & Bolts of Integrating - from Harvard College Writing Center


When you use someone else's idea or you quote, paraphrase or summarize, you must cite the sources that you have used. Please refer to the Citations section in this guide for more information.

When using quotations:

  • Choose quotes that support the points you are making. Do not include random verbiage.
  • Frame your quotations by providing connections between your ideas and the quotations — do not just drop them into your writing. Every quotation needs to have your own words appear in the same sentence. 
  • Identify the source (that is, cite your source)

The resources below will help you understand when and how to quote:

When and How to Quote - from the Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Templates for Introducing and Explaining Quotes - from Purdue Online Writing Lab

Summarizing involves putting the author's main points into your own words. These resources will help you to summarize effectively:

Steps to Summarizing - from the Writing Center, Texas A&M

When and How to Summarize - from the Harvard College Writing Program 


Remember, all summarized material must be cited. Refer to the Citations sections in this guide for more information.

When you paraphrase, you use your own words to express someone else's ideas. When you paraphrase, you must alter the structure of the sentence and change the vocabulary. 

Quick Guide to Paraphrasing - from the Writing Center, Texas A&M

When & How to Paraphrase - from the Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Remember, all paraphrased material must be cited. Refer to the Citations sections in this guide for more information.

Paraphrasing Examples Using MLA Format

Original Text — from Propaganda by Jacques Ellul
    "The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action" (Ellul123).

Acceptable Paraphrase #1:
    Modern propaganda does not try any longer to change a person's ideas or loyalties to certain principles. Instead, it summons individuals to undertake particular actions (Ellul 123).

Acceptable Paraphrase # 2:
    Jacques Ellul (123) states that modern propaganda does not try any longer to change a person's ideas or loyalties to certain principles. Rather, it tries to make people irrationally follow a given procedure.

Unacceptable Paraphrase # 1:
    Jacques (123) states that modern propaganda no longer tries to modify ideas.Rather, it tries to make individuals cling to action. [Note that you are using the same words and sentence structure as the author.]

Unacceptable Paraphrase # 2:
     The goal of modern propaganda is no longer about changing ideas. Instead, it is to provoke action (Ellul 123).
[Note that you are using the same words and sentence structure as the author.]

Ellul, J. (1965). Propandga. New York, NY:  Random House