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READ 104 Reading Mastery (Johnson): Integrating Source Material

Why Cite Sources?

Why cite your sources?

1. To give credit where it's due. When you use someone's ideas, figures, or words, you need to cite them.

2. To provide context and situate your own discussion in the ongoing conversation on your topic.

3. To lend weight to your work. When you make a claim without citing a credible source, your claim lacks credibility. When you cite an expert in the field, your argument is stronger.

4. So your reader can follow a clear path to your sources.

Integrating Sources & Citation Examples:

In-Text Citation

  • According to current data from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, 37.8% of prisoners in the United States are African America. (Inmate Statistics)

Full Citation from Works Cited:

  • United States. Federal Bureau of Prisons. "Inmate Statistics: Inmate Race." 26 Dec. 2015. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.

Here is a sample paragraph that demonstrates making source material part of one's own discussion. This sample is from an MLA style paper. It is excerpted with permissino from The Little Seagull.