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English Composition 2
Using Sources Effectively
- Material from
secondary sources should be used to help you
support and develop your own ideaslook for
insightful comments from other writers that you
can "borrow" and use in your own paper,
but be careful not to crowd yourself out of your
own paper by allowing material from the sources
to take over. The paper is your own, and the
thesis statement and topic sentences should be
yours. However, the sources should help you
develop and support your ideas more fully than
you could do without the use of those sources.
- Do not use material from a
secondary source if it simply retells something
that happens in the play, poem, story or other
primary source you are analyzing or states
something that is obvious from the primary source
- Give the authors name and page number(s) when you quote,
paraphrase, or summarize material from a source. If no author is given for your source,
use the title of the source or the first few words of a long title.
- Use short, well-integrated quotes. Avoid long quotes.
- Clearly distinguish your ideas from those in your sources to avoid
- Never take a quote out of context. In other words, do not change an
authors meaning as you quote his or her words in your essay. You are
"borrowing" the writer's words, so you need to make sure they are accurate and
that they convey the same meaning that the writer intended.
- Always copy quotes accuratelyindicate any changes to quotes with
brackets ([ ]) or ellipses (. . .). Use both sparingly.
- Words copied from a source always must be put into quotation
- Include an additional "Works Cited" page listing all works
cited in the essay. The "Works Cited" should begin on a new page.
- You do not need to include the title of the source in your own sentence
when you cite the source in your essaythis information will appear on your
"Works Cited" page. However, if you use material from a source without an author
named, the title will have to appear in parentheses at the end of your sentence.
- Your main source of
support should be the primary source itself (the
play, story, poem, or other text that is the
subject of your paper).
- Sources should be
used to support and develop your own
ideasin general, no more than 20% of your
paper should be composed of material from
- Always evaluate sources carefully for credibility. Do not use material
from a source if you cannot determine the credibility of the source.
This page was last updated on
Thursday, June 06, 2013. Copyright Randy Rambo,