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EDUC 200 Educational Psychology Class Guide

Effectively Using Sources

So, you've found a source, but now you have to figure out how to include it in your project. The following are just a few of the most common ways to incorporate a source:

  • Using a Source as an Example:

Does the source provide a perfect detail, statistic, or situation that will support your argument, or springboard your ideas into deeper meaning? Oftentimes you may choose to direct quote these sources for a powerful effect.

Experts believe that zombies and humans can co-exist under the right conditions. CDC director John Smith states as much in a 2010 memo: "Zombies are an essential part of the earth's ecosystem. We just need to be sure we can out run them" (p.54). With cardio is becoming such an important part of our daily lives, interval training is an excellent way to fit cardio training into your busy day and get the most bang for your buck.

  • As Supporting Evidence/Analysis

Finding other academics or experts that share your argument, or provide details that support your conclusions, is an important way to build the credibility of your argument. Oftentimes you will find yourself building upon what the source has said and extending their argument with your own ideas.

Garfield the Cat's laziness mirrors our societal ennui and anxiety. Jane Doe explores similar themes in her book Angst and Anxiety in the Funny Papers: Societal Dysfunction in American Comics, 1979-present. She equates Garfield's continued reliance on John to provide him lasagna to our culture's reliance on social media and television for social interaction.

  • Illustration of Counter Arguments

Sources that counter your argument give you the opportunity to explore your topic more completely, and may show additional avenues of analysis. These sources show your audience that you have considered position from multiple angles.

Mrs. Robinson (1995) believes that cookies are the best way to welcome people into a home. Her evidence suggests that their sweet smells elicit a positive neurological response from the visitor. For the gluten-intolerant, however, cookies are less than adequate, and a different welcome is necessary for them to feel at ease.

Remember to Cite Your Sources

In a multimodal project, the content can sometimes take over and you can forget to include the source of your information. Remember to use your sources responsibly:

  • For a graphic such as a poster/handout/flyer/infographic, it can simply be helpful to input a small citation after or below an idea.
  • In a PowerPoint, you might like to include a picture that illustrates your idea (make sure to include a citation for all images used that don't belong to you). Or for Powerpoint, you can directly quote or paraphrase another's idea, but always make sure to include who initially said these ideas.
  • For incorporating a source into a video, you'll want to include some kind of message directly into your speech, such as "According to XYZ" or "Joe Schmoe said" and also include the citation visually on the video.