Using Examples and
Integrating Quotes
Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotations
No matter what method you use to
integrate other people’s words and ideas
into your own essay, always be sure to
document your sources.
Summary

To summarize means to condense
what someone else has said and put
it into your own words.
Paraphrase

To paraphrase means to restate
someone else’s ideas in your own
language and in about the same
number of words.
Quotations

Using quotations means bringing
someone else’s exact words into
your essay.
But how do I integrate my sources into
my argument?
It’s not enough simply to plop quotes or
ideas from other sources into your own
work; instead you must weave them in in
a way that helps your readers understand
exactly why you’ve done so.


Where does this quote/reference come
from?
What point does it prove or support?
The Three Step Program
Once you’ve found the evidence,
quotes, materials you want to
incorporate into your essay, follow
these three steps to using examples
effectively.
Preview
1) Give your readers an indication
(or preview) of what’s coming.
Ex. But not everyone agrees that public
incivility is inherently bad.
Present
2) Go on to provide a specific
example or quote that illustrates
the point you just made.
For example, Brian McGee points
out that “incivility encourages
uncommitted voters and media
organizations to pay attention”
(556).
Credential the Source

When appropriate, use a signal
phrase to introduce your
evidence—and to show your reader
why this source can be trusted.
Who’s he?
For example, Brian McGee, a
communications scholar and
department chair at the College of
Charleston in South Carolina, points
out that “incivility encourages
uncommitted voters and media
organizations to pay attention”
(556).
Follow Through
Then, follow through with your
interpretation of the quote or
reference you just made. Explain
the point you want your readers to
take from the evidence you just
provided.
Public ranting and unconventional behavior,
in other words, can be important
instruments of political change.
So what does this look like all together?
1)
Preview (of main idea being
developed)
2)
Present (signal phrase + quote or
evidence)
3)
Follow through (interpretation)
The whole sh’bang. . .
But not everyone agrees that public
incivility is inherently bad. For example,
Brian McGee, a communications scholar
and department chair at the College of
Charleston in South Carolina, points out
that “incivility encourages uncommitted
voters and media organizations to pay
attention” (556). Public ranting and
unconventional behavior, in other words,
can be important instruments of political
change.
But what’s a signal phrase?
A signal phrase, which typically
comes at the beginning of the
sentence, literally signals to your
reader what’s to come in the text.
It is the place where you introduce
and attribute your sources.
So what do signal phrases look like?
They typically include the author’s name
and/or the title of the source, along with
a verb or verb phrase that indicates how
the quote or evidence that follows fits in
to your argument.
Ex. In his essay, “Can Political Rhetoric Be Too
Civil?” Brian McGee argues that. . .
Credentialing your sources
Really effective signal phrases will
often include some additional
information about the author as
well. These signal phrases
“credential the source” and allow
you to demonstrate your own ethos
as a writer.
In his essay, “Can Political Rhetoric Be Too
Civil?”, Brian McGee, a communications
scholar and department chair at the College
of Charleston in South Carolina, points out
that “incivility encourages uncommitted
voters and media organizations to pay
attention” (556).
Use powerful verbs to introduce your
sources (see your textbooks to find lists
like this!)
acknowledge
add
admit
advise
agree
allow
analyze
argue
ask
assert
believe
charge
claim
comment
compare
complain
concede
conclude
contend
criticize
declare
disagree
discuss
dispute
emphasize
explain
express
find
grant
illustrate
imply
insist
interpret
maintain
note
object
observe
point out
refute
reject
remark
reply
report
respond
show
state
suggest
write
Do I have to do this every time?
Yes, it’s a good idea to get in the
habit of doing so. These
interpretations and explanations,
after all, are where you develop
your argument. In these follow
through statements, you’re
interpreting evidence and explaining
how it supports the claim to which
you’ve tied it.
What about Factual Evidence?
Do I have to interpret that, too?
In a word, YES! You should never
assume that your readers will see
things the way you do or the way
you intend for them to. Instead,
cut the risk (and lengthen your
essay) by following through every
time and spelling out the important
conclusions you’ve drawn from your
careful study of this evidence.