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HSCI 345: Public Health Issues

Using Your Sources

Incorporate reference information smoothly and systematically into your assignment. Ensure that you cite your sources accurately and in a consistent fashion. Try to weave the research throughout the paper rather than patching a paper together with bits of research. Do not overuse quotations, but use them to strengthen your argument. Paraphrasing or summarizing is a good way to use research to make your argument,  Remember to cite the source for all resources that you have paraphrased or summarized. Even when you are using your own words, you must give the author credit for the specific idea.


How do you combine all of the ideas and information you find in the various sources you have gathered. This is called synthesis. On a basic level, synthesis requires the writer to pull together information from various sources, looking for themes in each text. When synthesizing, you search for the links between various materials in order to make your point. 

To synthesize: 

  • Use common points among the sources you have gathered to help you develop a line of thought or thinking.
  • Look for specific connections and or links between your sources and how those relate to your thesis or question.
  • When writing and organizing be aware that your readers need to understand how and why the information from the different sources connect and overlap.
  • Organize sections in your paper or reports into themes you find within your sources or themes you have identified. 

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