Lesson 10;organizing and Integrating Your Sources
The sentence outline is a great tool; it allows you to organize your thesis, topic sentences and support. Make sure you follow the example within the link in the lesson. It shows you what it should look like. Don’t forget to cite your support!
Organize your research information to prepare for writing your draft.
Analyze when to quote, paraphrase, or summarize your sources.
Utilize MLA citation style to avoid plagiarism.
Outline your research paper using sentences.
Organizing and Integrating Your Sources
Introduction: Connecting Your Learning
At this point in the process, you have a lot of information– book sources, articles from the library, and perhaps even some field research. You might be wondering how to move from your proposal to your paper. This lesson will walk you through the process of organizing your resources and preparing for a draft.
It is recommended that you take some time before beginning this lesson to review your proposal and instructor feedback. Based on your research, has anything changed regarding your thesis or your research questions? If so, take some time to revise them as a clear focus and a clear research question will be essential for taking the next steps.
Readings, Resources, and Assignments
Required Readings 1. “Decide When to Quote, Paraphrase, or Summarize”
2. “Understand when Citations are Necessary”Multimedia Resources 1. How to Work with Information from Sources
2. MLA Style Review
3. Sentence Outline TutorialRequired Assignments 1. Sentence Outline
See the Assessing Your Learning section for more information on each assignment.
ENG101&102 Research Guide: A one-stop shop for all of your English related research needs.
Check Prior Knowledge
Read each of the following statements and decide if each is true or false.
1. Quoting a lot is important in undergraduate work since you’re not an expert on the subject.
2. Paraphrases and summaries do not need to be cited in the text because you’re putting an author’s ideas in your own words.
3. MLA style does not use footnotes to cite sources
Focusing Your Learning
By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
1. Organize your research information to prepare for writing your draft.
2. Analyze when to quote, paraphrase, or summarize your sources.
3. Utilize MLA citation style to avoid plagiarism.
4. Outline your research paper using sentences.
This lesson maps to the following course competencies:
• Find, evaluate, select, and synthesize both online and print sources that examine a topic from multiple perspectives.
• Integrate sources through summarizing, paraphrasing, and quotation from sources to develop and support one’s own ideas.
• Generate, format, and edit writing using appropriate technologies.
From a Research Question to a Thesis
Until this point, you have been working from a research question. Since your research is done, you should now have some answers. It is now time to work your research question into a statement with supporting details:
Research Question: What is the cause of recent declines in Arizona’s fish population?
Thesis: The Department of Natural Resources should determine whether increasing use of the lakes by recreational vehicles has caused the recent decline in fish populations in Arizona’s lakes.
Practice: You can work through the process of moving from a question to a statement by following these steps: Develop and Refine Your Thesis Statement.Getting Organized
The next step is to work on organizing your sources to support your thesis statement. Consider what are you trying to answer and how you will support it. Using a pre-drafting technique like a mind map or a free write is recommended if you’re feeling stuck. Remember that your sources are your support… your voice should be the driving force of the paper, with your research acting like your back-up vocalists.
It can be helpful to write out your research question and thesis on a blank sheet of paper and then think about the sources you found while researching. You might cluster supporting ideas around the thesis and counterpoints further away from your thesis. Once your main ideas are on paper, think about your resources and begin to list which of them can serve as a support for each of your ideas. This process is typically called mapping, and you can try your hand at it using this exercise: Mapping Your Argument.
There are many other methods of organization. If you took good notes throughout your research process, organizing them by theme can be an excellent way to see how your sources relate to your paper’s goals. Other students will color code their notes to their main ideas, using highlighters or some other visually catching method. Still other researchers will physically lay out their sources in the order in which they’ll be used to support the areas of their paper. Below, watch a video by English Faculty Chair, Dr. Kathleen Dunley as she prepares to work on a researched article.
Knowing what to use and when
Once you have your sources lined up, it’s a good time to think about how you’ll employ them. As the reading “Decide When to Quote, Paraphrase, or Summarize” explained, quotes should be used sparingly. Remember that every time you use a direct quote, you pull your reader out of your own tone of voice. If you quote too much, or rely on lengthy quotes, it will be difficult to get your reader back. Remember, you are the author… your voice should be primary with the sources serving as your back up.
As you review your sources, mark or highlight notable passages. Think about whether you can paraphrase a source instead of directly quoting. If you are working from interviews, direct quotes may be the best option. You are allowed to alter quotations. If you add words, either for clarity or to paraphrase a piece of a longer quote, show the changes by using brackets:
Speaking about the rise of the contemporary slasher film, John Smith states: “some individuals [who complain about the violence in these films] are being too hasty and miss the film’s aesthetic aspects”(78).
If you remove a piece of a quote, indicate that with an ellipses…
Speaking about the rise of the contemporary slasher film, John Smith states: “some individuals… are being too hasty and miss the film’s aesthetic aspects” (78).
Thinking about what evidence you’ll use and how you’ll use it is helpful as you can take an inventory and fill in any research gaps that might be remaining before the full draft of the paper is due.
As you begin to think about how you’ll use sources, it’s critical that you also document the source information you will need to cite in your paper. In this class, and in most of your English classes, you will use MLA (Modern Language Association) format. Your sources must be properly cited in the text of your research paper as well as at the end of your research paper in the form of a Works Cited page. When taking notes, write down key information such as author, title, date of publication, Web site (if you found the source on the Internet), year of publication, and publisher.
It is essential to remember that paraphrases and summaries also need to be cited in the text, just like quotations!
To review MLA style, please read the following presentation: MLA 2009 Formatting and Style Guide.
Now that you have your sources in order and have some idea of how you will use (and cite!) them, it’s time to start preparing for the outline assignment. As you approach the outline, keep in mind that the research paper must be 8-10 double-spaced pages, not counting the title page or Works Cited page. Your outline will be roughly half that length, but the more detailed you are, the better the feedback you’ll have going into your full draft. You can view the full paper guidelines here: Research Paper Guidelines.
In Lesson 11, you will compose a draft of your essay for a peer review. Your draft will be a true peer review, meaning you will be graded on evidence of review and your reflection on revision. This outline will be your instructor’s chance to make sure you are on the right path in terms of overall organization, use of sources, and organization of your main ideas around your research question and thesis. Thus, your outline should be more detailed than the type of outline you may have used for pre-drafting purposes. For this assignment, you will compose a sentence outline. The following tutorial will walk you through the process, so be sure to complete it before beginning your sentence outline:
You can also view a sample outline to see how the outline leads to the draft by selecting the following link: Sample formal Outline.
Preparing for the draft
Once your outline is submitted, begin to work on the draft. While drafting is covered in Lesson 11, you might want to refer to the Research Paper Guidelines to think ahead.
Assessing Your Learning
Review the lesson several times before proceeding to the assessments below.
Important information: Before you begin your assignments, please review and follow the procedures below in the completion of ALL writing assignments.
Lesson 10 Assignment
For this assignment write a clearly formatted sentence outline following the guidelines in the Sentence Outline Tutorial.
• Remember to use complete sentences. This outline will serve as a precursor to a complete draft.
• Remember to provide a title for your intended paper and cite any sources you use according to MLA style. Check out the “Citation Help” page in the ENG101&102 Research Guide to review correctly formatted sample citations and to learn about tools that will generate citations for you!
• The length of this assignment will vary, but most outlines will range between 4-5 pages. It is OK to single-space your outline.
• For a self-checklist to help revise your outline, visit Create and Review Your Outline.
Your outline can earn up to 100 points and will be assessed on the following criteria:
Criteria Max points
Content: Outline uses complete sentences to provide a holistic view of the intended research project as a precursor to a draft. 60
Sources: Outline shows evidence of careful selection and planned usage of sources throughout the paper. Sources are cited in MLA style. 30
Grammar/Mechanics: Rules of grammar, mechanics, and proper spelling are followed. 10
Total points: 100
In order to receive credit for your work, you must submit this assignment in two ways:
a. Submit it to Turnitin.com (follow the directions provided in the course announcements for specific account set-up information).
b. To submit the assignment for grading, you will attach your file within the assignment submission window at the following link: Sentence Outline.
If you need help attaching your file to the submission window, refer to Attaching Files to Assignments in RioLearn.
Summarizing Your Learning
You are almost there! Your paper is outlined and in the next lesson, you will complete a draft of your paper and submit it for external review. Depending on your course calendar (8-week or 14 week), you may not have your instructor’s feedback on the outline prior to crafting your draft. If this is the case, you should still consider both sets of feedback, as both are important. Your instructor will comment on the organization of your outline, the plan for supporting your ideas, and the planned use of source. Your peer reviewer will comment on similar issues with your draft. Taken together, you will be able to plot out a successful revision for your portfolio.
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