Integrating Sources


  • Retelling information by saying it "in your own words" and condensing it
  • Summaries can be as short as one sentence (summarize this article's thesis) or as long as a paragraph (summarize the whole article).


  • Restating information "in your own words"
  • Unlike a summary, a paraphrase will be about the same length as the original text.


  • Stating information exactly as it appears in the original source
  • Quotations between 1-4 lines are always placed in quotation marks and followed by a parenthetical citation.
  • Quotations over 4 lines are block quoted.  Guidelines for block quotes in MLA style are as follows:
    • Do not place a block quote in quotation marks
    • Indent a block quote one inch (10 spaces) from your main body of text
    • Place all punctuation marks with the quote, not after the parenthetical citation
    • Keep block quotes double-spaced, like the rest of your paper

Attributive Tags

  • Phrases placed before, after, or between quoted, paraphrased, or summarized material that give credit to the author and establish credibility.
  • When naming an author for the first time, use his/her full name in the attributive tag. Afterward, you can refer to the author using the last name only.
  • Attributive tags are vital in showing the relationship between your ideas and those of a source.  They act as transitional links that connect your thoughts to someone else's.

EX: According to Dr. John Smith, head of neurology at Johns Hopkins, "The ability for mammals to regenerate, replicate, or repair neurons is limited compared to other animals" (34).

Parenthetical Citations

  • Whereas attributive tags are strongly recommended but optional, a parenthetical citation is absolutely necessary in order to prevent plagiarism.
  • After you summarize, paraphrase, or quote someone else's words or ideas, you MUST cite the author's last name and page number where the information can be found (according to MLA style guidelines).
  • Place the author's last name and page number in parenthesis after the quoted, summarized, or paraphrased information and place the end punctuation after the parenthesis.

EX: "The ability for mammals to regenerate, replicate, or repair neurons is limited compared to other animals" (Smith 34).