When making an argument that advocates a certain position or points to facts, it is important to provide evidence of your conclusions and opinions. Depending on your subject, you may need to provide direct quotes or cite tables and data or point to the conclusions of a research study. In academic writing, you do this through the use of citations and quotes. This strengthens your argument and helps support your thesis statement.
As you write more, this process will get easier and easier. Consult your instructor's instructions as well as the Diana Hacker handbook for techniques and methods to do this. Meanwhile, here are a few guides from academic writing centers to get you started and guide you on how to use evidence to support your thesis.
There are three main ways to integrate another person's work into your own. As you write, it isimportant to use each method to make your writing interesting and readable.
The three methods are:
Paraphrasing -- To paraphrase something means to put the source material into your own words. Typically, the paraphrase will be shorter than the source material.
Summarizing -- When you need to use long passages, chapters, etc. of source material, you can rewrite the main ideas in much shorter form. However, the ideas belong to the source material so they still need to be cited.
The following academic websites offer further advice as well as writing techniques for using these methods: