Section 24: Incorporating Secondary Source Research into an Exploratory Essay

Skills Focus: Sources Integrating and Documenting Secondary Source Information and Ideas

Writing HW Introducing Secondary Source Ideas and Information, Take 2
  • From among the sources on the course website, choose one you envision discussing in your exploratory essay (a source other than the one you wrote about for last Friday).
  • Within that piece, choose a sentence or short passage that expresses a point you’ll probably want to touch on in your essay
  • Copy the passage, enclose it in quotation marks, follow it with a parenthetical citation (giving the author’s name and, if available, the page number) and post it to the student writing section of the course website.
  • Then click on “reply” and in the response box write a short ¶ in which you present an idea or fact you envision discussing in your essay—either a point made by the secondary source writer, or an idea of your own that you will illustrate or explain by citing the secondary source.
    1. Open your ¶ with a sentence stating the main point of the ¶—what it will show. In this opening sentence, don’t mention the secondary source.
    2. In subsequent sentences, elaborate on that point, citing the secondary source to explain or illustrate the point.
    3. Throughout the paragraph, make clear to your readers when you’re paraphrasing ideas and info from the source, and when you’re presenting your own thoughts
    4. The first time you cite the source, consider briefly identifying the credentials or background of the writer
    5. Don’t bother giving the title of the source (since your essay will include a list of works cited where your readers will find that information)
    6. For the most part, paraphrase rather than quote secondary source information and ideas
    7. When you quote
      • Quote sparingly and strategically
      • Avoid “orphan quotes”—embed quotations in your own sentences.
      • After quoting, reiterate the point in your own words—spell out what you understand the writer to be saying