Integrating sources is an important part of writing a sophisticated paper, but it's not always as straightforward as it seems. The first step is understanding that scholarship is a conversation.
Graham, Rebecca. "Understanding Scholarship as Conversation" YouTube, uploaded April 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrW18QzOq98
Now that we have a better understanding of the conversation that is happening in our sources, and our place in that conversation, let's explore some ways to demonstrate that understanding in the way we use our sources and write our paper.
Here are some things you can do while you are finding sources that will help you showcase the scholarly conversation around your topic:
For more information on how to find these articles, check out the Tips & Tricks for Effective Research guide.
The writing process will be much easier if you take the time to get organized first!
One way to organize your sources before you being writing is to develop 'sub-topics' and match up which sources fit best with each'sub-topic'.
How you organize and divide out your subtopics will depend on your topic, your discipline, the type of paper you're writing, and the sources you have available. If you aren't sure how to approach this, talk to your professor or a tutor knowledgeable in the subject area.
Below are three abridged examples of how you might organize a paper by sub-topic. Note that within each paper, some sources might be used in more than one section.
|How have adaptations of Pride & Prejudice reflected changes in the viewer's expectations around gender roles?
|How can colleges and universities encourage students to be civically engaged through voting?
|What how and why are freshwater zooplankton evolving in response to increasing levels of road salt.
Background of gender roles expressed in Austen's work
Reasons why college students might not vote
Increasing levels of road salt
How gender roles have changed since the early 19th-century
Lethal Effects of Road Salt for zooplankton
Gender in adaptations of Pride & Prejudice
Nonlethal effects of road salt for zooplankton
Now that your paper is organized, let's look at the nuts and bolts of referencing and contextualizing multiple sources.
Some of these connections may be self-evident in your research, as some sources might cite others and comment on them. Many of these connections will have to come from your close reading and observation.
If you are not sure how best to integrated sources in your specific field/discipline, look to your sources as models. Where and how are they using sources? When do they cite multiple sources at once and what sort of things do they say about them?
Need help writing your paper, integrating your sources, or need someone to proofread? Contact the Academic Sucess Center!