Integrating Outside Texts into Your Own Writing

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Why it matters

This year, you will be integrating material from other texts (novels, websites, articles, etc.) into your own writing. The reason we do this as writers, is to support what we say with proof or evidence.

You will use this skill when you write about literature as well as other kinds of writing, like research papers or inquiry papers. Journalists are experts at weaving in quotations. Just read a newspaper to see how they do it.

This skill is an important one to learn. If you can get the knack of integrating outside material into your own writing, you will be writing stronger, more fluent essays throughout high school.

We will be practicing this skill many times:

  • Scarlet Ibis paragraph
  • Speak essay
  • Speak discussion in Moodle
  • To Kill a Mockingbird essay
  • To Kill a Mockingbird discussion in Moodle
  • Living Histories Multigenre Web Project
  • maybe more

After the first time we learn this skill, you will be expected to practice it and master it. If you forget, this page is here for your reference.

How To Guides
Samples from your Falcon Skills and Style Handbook

Integrating a direct quotation (passage from a text):

Before you "plop" in the passage, you must set it up, give it context. Your reader should be expecting what you give him. Also, quotations can be full (like a complete sentence or more) or partial (meaning only a fragment of a sentence, the most important part). When integrating partial quotations, be sure your introduction (context setter) plus the partial quote create a complete and grammatically correct sentence.

Direct quotation, full, under four lines

Holden's goal was to stop children from growing up, but he realized that his goal was impossible. As he watches Phoebe on the carousel, he says, "The thing with kids is. . . " (234).

Blah, blah, blah. . . . paragraph of your own. Sarah Morton also believes discrimination is harmful to a person's sense of self. She says, "blah, blah, blah" (425).

Some other programs to help aid the shut-in residents of communities are brought into focus by Elizabeth S. Johnson and John B. Williamson. They say that "the development of community programs, such as Meals on Wheels, day care, home care, and congregate living help senior citizens to remain in their communities" (139).

Direct quotation, partial

The study revealed that "the exclusive use of English contributes consistently and positively for Mexican-American pupils at all grade levels" (Carter 19).

Atticus wanted Scout to know that it was important to see things from other people's point of view. He wanted her to "climb into [a person's] skin and walk around in it (34).

Direct quotation, full, over four lines

A [direct quote over four lines long] should be indented as shown above. Indent the left margin two tabs for each line and leave the right margin equal to the rest of the paper. Use no quotation marks to designate the quote. DO NOT single space the indented quotation. Do not add extra lines before or after the indented quotation. Also, in this case only, the period goes after the quote.

The author longed to see a profoundly human system of education. He was particularly fond of the German schools, believing them to be far superior to the British system. In his Elementary Education he writes:

But the higher one rises in a German school the more is the superiority of the instruction over ours visible. Again and again I find written in my notes, the children human. They had been brought under teaching of a quality to touch and interest them, and were being formed by it. (Arnold 28)

Integrating summaries or paraphrases (when you put sections of a text into your own words)

Global warming is one theory that scientists are concerned with. According to Jonathan Weiner in his book The Next One Hundred Years, there is the possibility that continued warming will thaw icebergs enough to raise sea levels and thereby flood our coastal cities (107-108). [All you need is page numbers because you say who he is and what his book is. You have used a summary here.]

Bilingualism is often accompanied by biculturalism, which makes translation from one language to another difficult, if not impossible (Hertzler 428). [Paraphrase]


Model phrases to use when weaving source material into documents

Replace italicized elements with your author, title and topic.

  • Name says in title that ". . . . " (222).
  • According to name in title, "blah blah blah . . ." (222) .
  • In his/her book/article/etc., title, name says that "blah blah blah . . ." (222) .
  • The cause of idea, according to name in title, is "blah blah blah . . ." (222) .
  • The reason for idea says name in title is "blah blah blah . . ." (222) .

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