ENGL 110 AMU Week 3 lesson Informative Speaking Making Writing Relevant American Military university
This week we will further discuss how to correctly use sources. This will include the difference between simply collecting sources and synthesizing them into your work. Finally, we will briefly examine the role of digital communication.
Appropriate Use of Sources
As you begin to draft your thesis statement and consider what evidence you will use to support your points, it is also important to think about HOW you will use your sources. Yes, you need to cite using the appropriate formatting style, even in a speech. However, how you put the information, ideas, and quotations into the writing is important, as well. You want trustworthy and reliable sources. But, you also want to use the information from those sources in a responsible and academic way.
Using sources appropriately is essential as you move through your degree program. Sources should not only be scholarly, peer reviewed, but they should also be used appropriately throughout your writing.
Things to avoid:
- including a quotation without introducing it
- starting or ending a paragraph with a quotation
- using too many quotations in a row
- failing to integrate a quotation into the grammar of the sentence
- missing the connection between the citation and references
- dropping in a citation without making it clear the information that is associated with it (Stedman, 2011).
The previous section points to the importance of and how to properly use sources. When you avoid the mistakes that are discussed this week, you are moving toward synthesizing sources. What does it mean to “synthesize sources”? Essentially, you are using the information that you have found through academic research and are putting the information together in a meaningful way. When you are synthesizing sources, you are using them to help make and support your points. You are finding multiple resources that support your points and are combining the information.
When beginning to write using outside sources, it is easy to use a single source per paragraph or point. However, this is not synthesis. This is more of a summary of a source. Rather than approach integrating sources into your writing in this manner, do a little more research on the subject. Discover what multiple sources say about the subject. Then, use multiple sources per point.
Giving Credit in the Speech
When giving a speech or presentation, you need to remember that your audience only knows what you say. It is important that you provide information about where information is originating as you speak. The best way to do this is to provide references to where the information originated before you say it. For example, you can say, “According to a 2010 report published by John Smith…” This applies if you are using a quotation, summary, or paraphrase.
Remember, it is important that you give credit to your sources any time you use information from them, not only when you use a quotation. When using a quotation, you can illustrate this by saying “quote” at the start of the quotation and “end quote” as soon as you are finished (Citing Sources, 2016).
Just as with writing a research paper or essay where you have used sources, you also want to include a list of your references in the appropriate formatting style. See this week’s readings and activities for additional examples for how to properly give credit to your sources while speaking.
Formatting Your Sources
Why do you have to follow a format? It is important that you become familiar with this style as you will be using it often throughout your degree. It will be more difficult as you begin, but the more you use this, the easier it will become. Additionally, it is okay not to have the style memorized. Instead, have a few good resources that you can use to check when you have questions. It is like using the dictionary. You do not have all the words memorized; the important idea is that you know HOW to use the dictionary to find the information you need. Citation and formatting styles are no different.
So, why do you have to follow a format in the first place? These serve a few purposes. When following the format of your discipline, you are basically following the directions and norms for research and scholarly work in that field. In addition, by properly attributing your research and sources, you allow your readers to be able to look into them further. They can read more about your research by going directly to the sources that you used. In addition, it adds credibility to you as a writer. When you cite your sources, you show that you did your work, you have supported your points, and that you are following the academic and professional norms of the field or discipline.