Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

APUSH Research: Integrating Sources into Your Research Paper

Resources to assist APUSH students doing independent research on a U.S. History topic

What is the Best Way to Incorporate Sources into Your Research Paper?

The three ways to present sources in support of your central argument are:

Quotation - when you use the exact words from the source.  You will need to put quotation marks around the words that are not your own and cite where they came from.

-"It wasn't really a tune, but from the first note the beast's eyes began to droop...Slowly the dog's growls ceased-it tottered on its paws and fell to its knees, then slumped to the ground, fast asleep"  (Rowling, 1999)

Paraphrase - when you state the ideas from another source in your own words.  Even when you use your own words, if the ideas or facts come from another source, you need to cite where they came from.

-With the simple music of the flute, Harry lulled the dog to sleep (Rowling, 1999)

Summary - much like a paraphrase, but used in cases where you are trying to give an overview of many ideas.  As in paraphrasing, quotation marks are not used, but a citation is still necessary.

-Through a combination of skill and their invisibility cloak, Harry, Ron and Hermione slipped through Hogwarts to the dog's room and down through the trapdoor within (Rowling, 1999)

When integrating a source into your paper, remember to use these three important components:  Introductory phrase to the source material, (mention the date, author, or any other relevant information when introducing a quote or paraphrase), Source material ( a direct quote, paraphrase or summary with proper citation, and an Analysis of source material (your response, interpretations, or arguments regarding the source material should introduce or follow it.  When incorporating source material into your paper, relate your source and analysis back to your original thesis.