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.

ENGL 510 Quintana Wulf

Incorporating sources & RefWorks

Before you learn more about strategies for incorporating sources, it may be helpful to review some of the different types of sources and to know some of their strategic uses. Below is a chart called Bizup's BEAM, which is a handy way to remember the source types: Background, Exhibits, Arguments, and Methods/theory. 

 

Source:

Bean, J. C. (2011). Designing and sequencing assignments to teach undergraduate research. In Engaging ideas: The professor's guide to  integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom (2nd ed., p. 239). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

If one of your class products is a term paper or essay, much of your writing may be devoted to:
 
Reporting and analyzing what others have said about the research topic or question that you have identified.
Convincing your audience that your assertions are correct or, at least, viable. (Giving them evidence.)
Describing the situation surrounding your research topic or question for your audience and explaining why it’s important.
 
To do this writing you will often use direct quotes from your sources, and you may paraphrase and summarize sources. But how should you choose which technique to use when?
 
 
Choose a direct quote when it is more likely to be accurate than would summarizing or paraphrasing, when what you’re quoting is the text you’re analyzing, when a direct quote is more concise that a summary or paraphrase would be and conciseness matters, when the author is a particular authority whose exact words would lend credence to your argument, and when the author has used particularly effective language that is just too good to pass up.
 
Choose to paraphrase or summarize rather than to quote directly when the meaning is more important than the particular language the author used and you don’t need to use the author’s preeminent authority to bolster your argument at the moment.
 
Choose to paraphrase instead of summarizing when you need details and specificity. Paraphrasing lets you emphasize the ideas in source materials that are most related to your term paper or essay instead of the exact language the author used. It also lets you simplify complex material, sometimes rewording to use language that is more understandable to your reader.
 
Choose to summarize instead of paraphrasing when you need to provide a brief overview of a larger text. Summaries let you condense the resource material to draw out particular points, omit unrelated or unimportant points, and simplify how the author conveyed his or her message.

RefWorks is a citation management platform that can help you to keep sources organized, import references directly from the library catalog and research databases, and it allows you to create ML8 formatted Works Cited lists.

Find the complete instructions for using RefWorks and its features here