Chapter 2

Summarizing Sources 

In Chapter 2 of Controversies, you'll learn to summarize sources concisely, clearly, and fairly. You'll also learn to format your papers according to the Modern Language Association's (MLA) academic guidelines. 


Using other people's words

When you write your Research Summaries, you'll want to quote from your source articles as well as paraphrasing the author's words.

Direct quotations are good. You can use verbs of attribution to indicate who the author is -- for example, "David argues that 'Kittens are awesome'."

MLA citation

Good citation practices are critical for avoiding plagiarism, which is a fast track to an F in any UT class. Whenever you consult, paraphrase or quote from another person's work, you must cite it!

One good starting point for citation is the UT Libraries' citation tutorial.

The Undergraduate Writing Center here at UT has a handout on MLA formatting. Remember, you can also meet with a writing consultant at the UWC to work on issues like formatting and citation.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab is a great resource. Their page on MLA formatting is available here.

Citation managers can help you manage your research and create great bibliographies. NoodleTools is an easy option (and you can take a class at PCL), but we've also put together a longer list of data management tools under "Academic Resources."