The Role of Source citation

When to Cite Sources/the Role of Sources

1. Whenever you use factual material that you found in a source

2. Whenever you use ideas (i.e. claims, interpretations, conclusions, etc.)

3. Whenever you use a special concept, term, or theory that you found in a source.

4. Whenever you use the structure, organization, or method of a source (i.e. the way an argument is divided into specific parts)

5. Whenever you quote – You will NEVER quote for any paper in any Dr. Cipra class!


Integrating Sources

1. Summarize/paraphrase – using the main points or conclusions of someone else’s work BUT do so by using your own words

2. Gist – give the main claim of an argument without indicating the reasons or further support

3. Mention – refer to the source in passing, making it part of a generalized claim

a. Some researchers (see Bronfenbrenner, 1969) argue for an ecological systems view of human development.



Never leave your reader in doubt about which claims are yours and which come from a source.

Use sources to support your ideas. Do not simply summarize the ideas of others.

Always make clear how each source matters to your argument and integrate sources to create a complete “story” or understanding of the topic.