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Incorporating outside information into your project

Quotes, paraphrases, and summaries can be used in a few ways in your research project.

  • To share evidence that proves your argument.
  • To explain an opinion or argument that you will then set out to disprove.
  • To compare with other sources to show how experts agree or disagree.

The following example uses outside sources to demonstrate how researchers agree that paraprofessionals are a critical component of early childhood education for children with disabilities, and that, in general, more training is needed.

The authors use outside sources as evidence to build their own arguments and to narrate the scholarly conversation that exists between researchers in this field.

This article uses a mix of quotes (identifiable by their quotation marks) and paraphrasing (without quotation marks) to convey what the outside sources say on the topic.

Transitional words and phrases

To compare and contrast information from outside sources in your writing, try using transitional words and phrases. These include terms like:

  • Furthermore
  • Meanwhile
  • For example
  • At the same time
  • In other words

Try keeping a list of transitional words and phrases near you while you write.

There are many useful lists of transitional words and phrases online. The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin--Madison offers one of the many good lists.