Integrating Sources

While including sources in academic writing is a familiar concept to most students, smoothly integrating the sources can present a challenge. Though this can be a confusing process, it is also critically important. Using sources appropriately isn’t just a matter of a few points getting knocked off an assignment; incorrectly using sources can be a form of plagiarism and may result in the student being subject to disciplinary action (this is Michigan Tech’s policy).

There are three ways sources may be used in academic writing, and knowing how to employ these method appropriately can help students not only avoid plagiarism but also construct better papers.


Direct Quotations

A direct quotation uses what the author wrote word-for-word. It should be put in quotations and contain a proper citation. While direct quotations may be beneficial, you should use them sparingly. It may be appropriate to use a direct quotation if the author wrote it in such a way that it is impossible to reword it, the ideas must be expressed in that exact way for clarity, or if you are analyzing a piece of literature.



Using the Full Sentence

“There emerged in her a certain autonomy that rendered her very determined in her choices, but she was not rebellious” (Troisi and Paccini, 12).


Using a Portion of the Sentence

Toisi and Paccini said that those who had not attended the funeral “lost a unique opportunity to see that Heaven can exist here on earth” (45).


Using a Quote that would Exceed Three Lines of Text

Despite the tragic loss of her child, Chiara describes the moment with her daughter:

But the day of Maria’s birth I shall always recall as one of the most beautiful days of my life…The amount of time (as parents) does not matter: one month, two months, a few hours. What matters is that we have had this gift…and it is something that can never be forgotten. (Troisi and Paccini, 43)



Paraphrasing has the student put the author’s ideas in their own words. It will not be put in quotes. It will, however, have proper citations.




Original Text

“Chiara died on June 13, 2012, and her story spread like wildfire. The church was packed at her funeral, which was led by the Vicar General of Rome, Cardinal Agostino Vallini; social media, news agencies, and journals spread the word and soon she was known all over the globe.”



After her death, many people attended Chiara’s funeral including Cardinal Vallini; her story was shared quickly from a variety of media sources (Meaney).



Summarizing captures the main idea of a portion of the source and condenses it down without all the details. Summarizing does not require citations, but it should be referenced in the bibliography.


Original Source

“Chiara became pregnant shortly after the wedding. Unfortunately, since the very first ultrasound scans, the baby-girl, Maria, was diagnosed with anencephaly. Without any doubts, Enrico and Chiara welcomed and accompanied the baby-girl, first in her earthly birth and then after more or less thirty minutes, to her heavenly birth. I personally witnessed the Maria’s funeral Mass, which was one of the most beautiful experiences I had in my life. A victory of Christ over death, confirmed by that little white coffin and by two parents who played and sung, giving thanks and praising the Lord for the whole length of that Mass. A few months later, Chiara was pregnant again. Also in this case the response of the ultrasound scan was not good. The child, this time a baby-boy, had no legs. Without any fear and with a smile on their faces, Enrico and Chiara chose to continue the pregnancy. I myself talked with Enrico who told me about his joy for having a baby, even if the baby had no legs. Unfortunately, around the seventh month of pregnancy, the ultrasound scan showed the child having visceral malformations with absence of lower limbs and incompatibility with life. Again, the two young parents, with a smile on their face (I have seen and “frequented” that smile that comes from faith), wanted to accompany their baby, Davide, until the day of his birth to Heaven, which took place shortly after his earthly birth.

I went to Davide’s funeral too.”



Chiara struggled with two unhealthy pregnancies. Her first child, Maria, had anencephaly and died shortly after her birth. Chiara’s second child, Davide, initially appeared healthy besides not having legs, but he was later diagnosed with life-ending malformations. Despite these traumatic losses, Enrico and Chiara faced these challenges with strength and faith.


Works Cited vs Bibliography

There is a difference between a Works Cited page and a Bibliography. These differences are explained well at this resource (

What would be in Works Cited

Meaney, Marie. “Chiara Corbella: A Witness to Joy – Crisis Magazine.” Crisis Magazine. Crisis Magazine, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.

Troisi, Simone, and Cristiana Paccini. Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy. Manchester: Sophia Institute, 2015. Print.


What would be in Bibliography

De Palo, Gianluigi. “Chiara’s Story.” Web log post. Chiara Corbella Petrillo. N.p., 2012. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.

Meaney, Marie. “Chiara Corbella: A Witness to Joy – Crisis Magazine.” Crisis Magazine. Crisis Magazine, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.

Troisi, Simone, and Cristiana Paccini. Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy. Manchester: Sophia Institute, 2015. Print.


Additional Resources

If you would like to see an example to further understand the difference between a direct quote, paraphrase, and summary, look at this example from Purdue OWL.

To get some ideas for different ways to incorporate outside sources effectively, look at the book They Say, I Say. There is a copy of this book both in the MTMC and MTU’s library.

– by Kate Bauer

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