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Introducing Cited Material

Introducing Summaries, Paraphrases, and Quotations

One quality of a good research project is the smooth integration of an author's ideas and prose with the ideas and language of others. But integrating the work of others into your discussion can be difficult sometimes, and often it seems as if outside material overwhelms your voice.

Remember: Your readers are interested in your opinions, insights, and analysis. In most cases, if they want a full understanding of the background literature associated with your topic, they'll go back to the original. Use outside material to further illustrate your argument or analysis. However, the goal of most research projects is to investigate and go beyond sources, to interpret them and convey your interpretations to your readers.

Use introductory phrases whenever possible. Here's a short list of verbs taken from the Little, Brown Handbook, 8th ed.(696) that could help:

General Form:
Smith _________ that the election might have been fixed.
Fill in the blank with an appropriate verb in the present tense.

Author is:
neutral
suggests/infers
argues
agrees
comments
analyzes
claims
admits
describes
asks
contends
concedes
explains
concludes
disagrees
concurs
notes
finds
holds
grants
observes
suggests
maintains
acknowledges

For a more complete list of verbs useful in introducing summaries, paraphrases, and quotations, see page 696 of the Little, Brown Handbook (8th ed.).

Introductory Information

Think about integrating the following information as part of your signal phrases:
  • Author's Name
  • Title of Work
  • Author's Credentials

    An example:
    According to George Will, political writer and baseball fan, "to be an intelligent fan is to participate in something" (Men at Work 2). Think about integrating the following information as part of your signal phrases: Think about integrating the following information as part of your signal phrases: Think about integrating the following information as part of your signal phrases:
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