Using other people's ideas allows you to make intellectual progress. Rather than struggle to make connections that others have already shared, start with their knowledge and advance farther.
Appropriately building on credible sources brings credibility to your work. There are three approaches to using someone else's ideas: quote, paraphrase, and summary.
Each time you use a source-- whether by quote, paraphrase, or summary-- acknowledge the contribution in two ways. Attribution acknowledges a source where the information is placed. Citation provides all the details of the source. Citations are combined in a "Works Cited" at the end, or placed as a footnote on the same page as the attributed information.
Both attribution and citation are required to demonstrate credibility and avoid plagairism.
Citation is a formal record detailing every source you quote, paraphrase, or summarize. The goal of all citation styles is the same: providing complete source information in a consistent format. In high school, we most often use MLA formatting for this record. In college, English, World Language, and other Humanities courses continue to use MLA. Other fields of study, and some scholarly publications used different formats. A new format can take time to learn, but they all have the same goal and the same overall process.
Identify the source where the information is placed.
Use a signal phrase to introduce the source
The first time a source is used, the signal phrase will usually include information about the source's authority to speak on the topic.
Once you attribute your source and establish their credibility, additional information from the same source can be attributed briefly.
Skills to Know
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