Incorporating Sources

5 Things to know about incorporating sources

1. It’s a conversation

  • You in conversation with your sources
  • Your sources in conversation with each other

2. Use a source when you want to …

  • Use its insights to build or support your point(s)

EX: Jennifer Denison points out that in 2019 90 percent of news media outlets are funded through subscription models with 60 percent of revenue coming from digital subscriptions.[1] (supporting the point that the financial models for news outlets has changed in the last 10 years)

  • Speak back to or disagree with a source

EX: While Denison believes the prevalence of subscription models indicates their suitability for online media platforms, a deeper dive into the data suggests just the opposite.

  • Create context for your point/topic

EX: Researchers like Denison and JaMarcus Rosen argue that news media companies hold three obligations that are often in contrast with each other: to remain profitable, to remain truthful, and to provide civically relevant information to citizens.

3. Ways to incorporate sources

  • Summarize

Sum up something large (a whole book, chapter, or article) in roughly 1-3 sentences.

EX: As Ella Reaves Vaughan makes clear in her book For Love of the Fame, being paid as a scholastic athlete robs someone of the love of the game.

  • Paraphrase

Sum up one idea from a particular place in a source without using the same words. Keep the idea, but put it in your own words.

EX: Gavin Tygh argues that academic departments within the university would be hurt financially by paying student athletes.

  • Quote

Take language directly from a source. Do this when the language from the source is particularly profound, interesting, or thought provoking. DON’T QUOTE SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE IT’S EASY.

4. Using Signal Phrases

Signal phrases are phrases that show the audience you are incorporating a source.

EX: According to research from the NCAA, …

EX: As Regina Marcy argues, …


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