Source Integration

While we shouldn’t always stick to formulas, here’s a strategy for incorporating sources that you can use and/or adapt. Incorporating sources will likely happen only after introducing the topic and claim you’re working with. And, of course, you should be choosey with the sections of texts you decide to use.

  1. Introduce the source’s rhetorical situation, naming the author and title of text at the very least. It may also help to mention the author’s credibility (job title, field of work/study, pertinent biographical information) and/or to talk about the context in which the person was writing. These additional items should be included when you have a specific purpose in discussing them (i.e., you think your audience may need this extra information in order to understand the importance of their contribution to your work, or why their voices are significant and have authority on the matter you’re discussing).
  2. Summarize the overall purpose and/or argument of the source you’re drawing from.
  3. Introduce the specific point or claim from your source that you want to focus on.
  4. Bring in a quote and/or paraphrase that connects to, extends, or illustrates the specific point. Be sure to embed this within your own sentence (aka: Make a source sandwich!) and cite the source and page number! (Refer to your handbook for help with how to provide in-text or works cited/references/notes citations.)

Templates for Introducing Quotations:

  • On page 5, X states, “_____.”
  • As the prominent scholar X puts it, “_____” (5).
  • According to X, “_____.”
  • X herself writes, “_____.”
  • In his book, _____ , X maintains that “_____.”
  • Writing in the journal, _____ , X argues that “_____.”
  • In X’s view, “_____.”
  • X illustrates this when she writes, “_____.”
  • X contradicts this when he claims, “_____.”
  • X complicates matters further when he posits that “_____.”

These first four steps can be done in 2-5 sentences. You’re not done yet, though, since you need to show how your source use connects to your claim or reason.

5. Explain how the material you brought in from your source supports, extends, complicates or challenges your claim. You may also want to connect it to past sources’ ideas (e.g., “This challenges Author Y’s assertion and complicates my claim that…”). No matter what, be explicit about what you’re intending to do with this information and how you want your reader to consider it in terms of your claim.

  • In making this comment, X extends/supports/challenges/complicates Y’s claim that _______.
  • The essence of X’s argument is that _____.
  • X’s concept about can be applied to my claim that ______.
  • X’s point is relevant to my reasoning that given that ______.