chat loading...
Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

ENG 1103 - College Writing & Public Life: Integrating Sources into Writing

Citation Help

Citation Help

Citation is an important part of the writing and research process. The sources below will help you cite your sources in MLA style, and help you determine when to cite.


You've chosen a topic, learned more about it, evaluated your sources for quality and relevance, and now it's time to integrate them into your paper. How do each of your sources fit into the structure of your paper? What could you DO with these sources in your paper? How could you use them to support one or more of the elements below? 

BEAM source use

Creative Commons License
What could a writer do with this source? by Kristin M. Woodward/Kate L. Ganski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Integrating Sources in Your Writing: A 5-Step Guideline

5-Step Guide to Integrating Sources into Your Writing

1. Introduce the source: Answer the following questions to create a context for your source.

  • Who (author)
  • What (title)
  • When (date of publication)
  • Where (ex. publisher/city/university/journal)
  • How (research method)
  • Why (thesis of source)

2. Quote/Summary/Paraphrase of source: Be sure to include the page number, if possible.

3. Translate the source: Define any key words your audience might not know, and restate the main ideas of the source in your own words to demonstrate your understanding of its meaning and bring your reader up to speed on the subject matter.  

4. Analyze/Critique/Interpret the source: This is where your ability to persuade comes into play. You control the conversation! Explore the source, dissect it, take it apart to see what makes it tick. Propose your unique perspective on the source’s meaning and significance. What is it really saying and how is that meaning conveyed? Why does it matter?

5. Synthesize the quote: By combining the source and your own ideas, you should now be able to create new knowledge that connects back to your own thesis and adds your voice to the conversation established by your source. How does this source fuel your argument? Why does your argument need this source to succeed? Connect the dots!