Using material from other sources

If you integrate text from an external source (not your own ideas but someone else’s ideas) into your writing remember you must cite that source. The main goals of any citation (whether formal or informal) are to a) signal that the ideas or content are not originally yours and b) give your audience a way to find the original information. To achieve these two goals, there are several different approaches you can take to informal citation

  • Integrate the citation into your sentence: According to Wikipedia the word science comes from a Latin word, scientia, which has the meaning of “knowledge.”
  • Mention the source in parentheses after the sentence: The word science comes from the Latin word scientia that means “knowledge” (“Science” in Wikipedia).
  • Also be sure to use quotation marks to indicate any content that you’ve used word for word: According to Wikipedia, the word science comes “from the Latin word scientia, meaning ‘knowledge.’ “
  • Link to a digital source: If you are creating a digital document, you can connect the user directly to your source with a hyperlink as in the example above.
  • Quoted materials should only be used sparingly.
There are standardized ways of citing ideas and materials that are not your own that you use in your document. You will learn the basics in this chapter.



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Technical Writing @ SLCC Copyright © 2020 by Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies at SLCC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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