6. Integrating Sources
Integrating sources into your own writing smoothly and ethically is the essential skill you need to write quality research papers.
Critical reading is a process and a state of mind that can help you see under the surface of your sources.
Preview sources that look promising
It will save you time and effort in the long run if you preview each potential source carefully to evaluate its usefulness.
It’s thinking that will allow you to decide which sources to use and which to ignore, and it’s thinking that will help you understand how the ideas in sources are connected.
Select appropriate sources that support your argument
Choosing useful sources that support your argument is crucial; sources can provide support, explanation, or support specific points and claims.
Connecting ideas to a larger picture
Figuring out how each source connects to your thesis or argument—supporting, qualifying, or opposing it—helps you build a rich landscape of ideas for your readers.
Synthesize sources effectively
Think about how the sources you choose contribute to your main point.
Creating connections among facts and ideas
Mapping your sources to your main idea allows you to see where your ideas are strong and where they need more support.
Integrate visuals effectively
As with other kinds of sources, to incorporate graphics and visuals effectively in your work, you must choose them carefully, provide context, and cite your sources.
Annotating and summarizing sources
You’ll need to mentally process the ideas from your sources rather than just read them, and annotating and summarizing are two helpful methods you can use.
Take notes and annotate sources
Whether you use a computer file or note cards, recording adequate information in the appropriate format is critical to citing sources accurately in your final project.