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Tips for Using Sources in Your Paper or Presentation

Get tips on using sources in your paper or presentation.

How do You Use Sources in Your Paper or Presentation?

""Once you've found sources that fit the criteria of your assignment, your instructor expects you to:
  1. Read them with an open mind.
  2. Think about what they mean.
  3. Draw conclusions based on all of the sources you've read.
  4. Discuss what you've discovered in your paper or presentation.

What you learn from your sources should be in your paper or presentation. Asking yourself these questions as you read is a technique that can help you focus:

  1. What is the author(s) of the source telling you about the topic?
  2. What new information did you learn from it that you did not know before?
  3. How does that change what you think about the topic?
  4. How does what one source say about the topic compare to what other sources say about the topic?
  5. What was the most important or main point?

Don't gets points off for using the wrong stuff!!!

Understanding your assignment is key. Pay attention to specific requirements from your instructor like how many sources you need or if they have to be peer reviewed.

Having the assignment with you when you search can help ensure that the sources you find will work for the assignment. Circle, highlight or underline important requirements.

Your instructor is the best person to ask--be sure to get started on your assignment in time to be able to ask any questions you have. 

Credit Your Sources

The articles you gather will give you the facts and information you need to explain the topic to your reader.

If you use information from a source that you did not know before, you should cite it to give credit to the author regardless of whether you are using a quote or paraphrasing the information.

See our APA and MLA citation guides using the links below for how to cite.