Introduction of Borrowed Material

The basic idea is that you need to set up your quotes or paraphrases. Establish the credibility of your source. By reading your paragraph aloud, you will notice how well you have done this. Trust your ear. You will hear whether you have set up the quote at all–or whether you have used the same patterns of introduction over and over.

  • Fit in the used material smoothly.
  • Parenthetical citations are meant to be brief, so that they wont distract readers.
  • Use brackets [like this] to indicate that you added words to the original quote.
  • Avoid taking a quote out of context. The examples in the handbook illustrate awkward and revised source usage.
  • Vary the verbs while still maintaining accuracy. Readers will notice such little touches.

Writers who fail to realize their options often end up with papers that are boring collections of quotes from others.

By varying verbs, first words of sentences, and types of sentences (simple, compound, complex), you will tend to write stronger papers. Such flexibility and variety–hallmarks of strong writing–are also necessary ingredients when integrating borrowed material.