ENGL001 Study Guide

Unit 3: How Do I Use Sources?

3a. Explain how to appropriately and effectively use outside sources in persuasive writing

  • What is evidence? What counts as evidence?
  • What are the different kinds of evidence?
  • What are the three ways of integrating outside sources into an essay?
  • What are some strategies to make sure you are using outside sources effectively?
  • What are ineffective ways of using outside sources and how can you fix them?
  • What is the difference between main points and sub-claims? How do outside sources relate to sub-claims?

Evidence is information that supports your argument. In persuasive writing, there are two kinds of evidence: primary sources – original documents, interviews, etc. – and secondary sources –information that has already been interpreted by someone else. Evidence could include observations, interviews, surveys, experiments, statistics and data, and even personal experience. Evidence can be integrated into your own writing through quotations, paraphrasing, and summaries.

Strategies to evaluate your essay and use of outside sources can include making a reverse outline, color coding evidence, and playing the doubting game.

Some ineffective uses of outside sources include:

  • Using sudden quotations. You can fix these by using signal phrases.
  • Starting or ending a paragraph with a quotation. You can fix this by remembering to analyze and interpret any quoted material you provide.
  • Too many quotations or quotations that are too long. You can fix these by deciding why the quote is there and what readers really need to know or think about the quote.
  • The quote does not fit the grammar of the sentence. You fix this by reading your essay out loud and listening to the grammar, to make sure it makes sense.
  • Parenthetical reference does not line up with Works Cited. Double-check to make sure each reference in your essay is detailed in the Works Cited.

Main points in an argument function as support for the author's thesis. They likely form the topic sentences for body paragraphs. They are supported by sub-claims, claims more specific to the main point. Outside sources are used to support sub-claims.



3b. Practice determining source credibility and describing source relevance

  • What is the CRAAP Test?

The CRAAP Test is a list of questions to help you determine the credibility and relevance of an outside source:

  • Currency: How timely is the information?
  • Relevance: How important is the information for your needs?
  • Authority: How credible and reliable is the source of the information?
  • Accuracy: How truthful and correct is the information?
  • Purpose: Why does the information exist?

Review Evaluating Information


3c. Practice incorporating counter-argument and defending a position

  • What is a counterargument and why is it important to address them?
  • Where should counterarguments appear in your paper?
  • What are three strategies for addressing counterarguments?

Counterarguments are alternate opinions that disagree with your argument. Addressing counterarguments helps build your ethos as a writer. Typically counterarguments appear early in the essay, after the thesis.

You can address counterarguments by acknowledging the alternative perspective, acknowledging the validity of counterarguments' objections, and refuting it with research-based evidence.

Review Counterarguments. 


3d. Demonstrate competence in critical reading and comprehension of source material

  • What are two ways of demonstrating your competence in critical reading and comprehension of source material?

One way of demonstrating your critical reading competence is by completing the CRAAP test for each of your sources. Another way is to evaluate the counterarguments you have identified and intend to address.



3e. Practice incorporating rhetorically appropriate quotations, paraphrases, and summaries into academic writing

  • Why should you incorporate appropriate quotations, paraphrasing, and summaries into your academic writing?
  • What are the three ways that writers incorporate outside source material?
  • What should you keep in mind when using quotations?
  • What should you keep in mind when using paraphrases and summaries?
  • Why is paraphrasing important?
  • What is the most effective way to incorporate source material?

Incorporating outside sources holds you accountable to your research, helps you clarify what you wrote, and builds your ethos. Writers incorporate outside sources through quotations, paraphrases, and summaries.

Quoting borrows the exact wording used in a source. Use quotations to provide evidence, support an argument, or illustrate an idea using another writer's unique words. Quotations are surrounded by quotation marks and are followed by a parenthetical in-text citation.

Paraphrasing borrows an idea found in a source and communicates this idea using different words and word order. Paraphrases should explain or simplify a passage that may be difficult to understand and help establish your credibility and maintain your voice. Use paraphrasing to communicate statistics and numerical data.

The most effective way to integrate outside sources is by mixing quotes and paraphrases, especially in the same sentence. Paraphrases are important in themselves because they help you avoid plagiarism, clarify complex ideas, and report only the essential information of an idea.



3f. Identify the risks of plagiarism and practice techniques for avoiding it

  • What is plagiarism?
  • What is common knowledge?
  • What are the strategies to avoid plagiarizing?

Plagiarism is when a writer uses the words and ideas of someone else and passes them off as his or her own. It is stealing the work of others. Common knowledge is information you knew before you took this course, and information that came from your own brain.

You can avoid plagiarism by:

  • Using citations for every quote and paraphrase
  • Using your note-taking skills to keep track of your sources
  • Consulting your style manual (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago)

Review Plagiarism.


3g. Practice the basic requirements of MLA, APA, and Chicago styles and formatting

  • What are citation styles?
  • What are the most common citation styles?
  • What is the difference between in-text citations and bibliographies?

Citation styles are how writers document reference information in their essays. Citations help readers locate outside sources referenced in your essay. There are in-text citations, or parenthetical citations, that inform readers of basic information of the source of the material; and there is a bibliography (or reference list, or Works Cited list) that lists the sources in more detail after an essay has concluded.

MLA stands for Modern Language Association and is typically used for essays written in the humanities discipline. APA stands for American Psychological Association and is typically used for papers in the social and natural sciences disciplines. Chicago style is typically used in history and philosophy disciplines.



Unit 3 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes the terms that you will need to know to successfully complete the final exam.

  • APA style
  • Chicago style
  • citations 
  • citation styles 
  • counterarguments 
  • CRAAP test
  • evidence 
  • main points 
  • MLA style
  • paraphrasing 
  • plagiarism
  • primary sources
  • quotations 
  • quoting
  • secondary sources
  • sub-claims
  • summaries