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Using Outside Sources

How can I use outside sources?

When you are writing your paper, essay, or story, it is okay to use someone else's ideas or words. These are called "outside sources."

You need to follow the proper steps to help you avoid plagiarizing.

Remember, your teacher wants to read your ideas. You should only use outside sources to help support your own ideas.

Steps to follow

Follow these steps when you use words or ideas from the internet, course materials, library books, other artists, and students or anywhere else.

Step 1

Paraphrase or quote the original source.

It is almost always better to paraphrase than to quote because a paraphrase shows that you understand the author's ideas very well.

Step 2

Give a citation to tell your reader where you found the idea.

You must always include a citation – whether or you use a paraphrase or a quote.

Review

If you want to avoid plagiarism when writing, just make sure you follow BOTH of these steps:

  1. Paraphrase or quote the original source.
  2. Write a citation to tell your reader where you found the idea.