Writing with Sources

Writing with Sources
Academic writing in college often relies on using other sources to support your work. Start with
good research skills, and make sure you know how to give credit to the different sources you
find. A brief list of sources that need to be documented:
Words or Ideas from books, magazines, the Internet, emails, songs, movies, television,
letters, ads, etc.
Words or phrases that are a unique expression of the author.
Information you get from another person through an interview face-to-face, on the phone
or in writing.
Don’t forget other media citations, too: photos, audio files, videos, diagrams, graphs, and
the like.
As more of us rely on Google and the Internet for information, it is helpful to know how to
evaluate the quality of a source.
Authorship: Is there a clear author attributed to the material? Look for the “About this
Site” page to find more information. Do the author’s credentials seem credible? If no
one taking credit for the material, should you trust it?
Sponsorship: What kind of group is sponsoring this page? Be careful to consider the
audience when evaluating a source: are they trying to sell something? Biased for one
side or another?
***If the authorship and the sponsorship are both unclear, think twice about using this source for
your research.
Citation Resources: There are many accepted styles for citation—make sure you know what
your professor wants you to use, then go here:
Adapted from Diana Hacker; http://www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/tips.htm