Using Sources Effectively: 
Strengthening Your Writing and Avoiding Plagiarism

Third Edition

Robert A. Harris
October 12, 2010

This is an advertisement for my book.

Using Sources Effectively: Strengthening Your Writing and Avoiding Plagiarism, 3nd ed.
Robert A. Harris
Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, 2011
ISBN 1-884585-93-0. 143 pp., paper.

Cover picture of Using Sources Effectively 3rd Ed

Now available is the third edition of the popular and effective book that targets the two most prominent problems in current researched writing: unintentional plagiarism and the ineffective use of research source material. This book addreses these issues in a positive way, focusing on helping every student who uses research in writing, from a short essay with a few sources to a full-scale major research paper. Focusing on practical and effective strategies for incorporating sources, the book will teach you

Helpful features of the book include the following: New to the third edition:

This edition provides more information about finding and selecting good sources, including strategies and tips for effective searching. There are now nine chapters, with Chapter 9 focusing on editing for accuracy, together with some tips about writing style..

See the full table of contents below, after the order form.

You can order by going to www.Pyrczak.com and clicking on Feedback.

Contents of Using Sources Effectively


Chapter 1 The Importance of Using Sources Effectively
 1.1 Why do research? 1
 1.2 Why use sources in papers? 3
 1.3 Why use sources effectively? 5
 1.4 Why cite them all? 6
 1.5 Are sources the whole idea? 7

Chapter 2 Finding, Choosing, and Evaluating Sources
 2.1 Start with the end in mind 15
 2.2 Select the kinds of sources you need 16
 2.3 Search strategies 20
 2.4 Using and abusing Internet sources 24
 2.5 Evaluating sources 25

Chapter 3 Preparing Your Sources
 3.1 Collecting sources 29
 3.2 Keep sources organized 31
 3.3 Take careful notes 32
 3.4 Protect yourself against a false charge of plagiarism 36

Chapter 4 Quoting Effectively
 4.1 Quoting use and abuse 41
 4.2 Introductory strategies 44
 4.3 Quoting strategies 50
 4.4 Punctuating quotations 54

Chapter 5 Paraphrasing and Summarizing
 5.1 Paraphrasing 61
 5.2 Summarizing 68
 5.3 Deciding whether to quote, paraphrase, or summarize 74
 5.4 Beware of thesaurusitis 75

Chapter 6 Avoiding Plagiarism
 6.1 What is plagiarism? 81
 6.2 Why you should avoid intentional plagiarism 83
 6.3 Guidelines for citation 84
 6.4 Myths and facts about citing 88

Chapter 7 Putting It Together
 7.1 The Simple Rule: Mark the boundaries 97
 7.2 Marking the boundaries in problem cases 101

Chapter 8 Effective Use
 8.1 Introduce the source thoroughly 109
 8.2 Discuss or apply the source 112
 8.3 Blend in your sources 115
 8.4 Avoid ineffective use 117
 8.5 Working with sources that disagree or conflict 119
Chapter 9 Editing for Accuracy
 9.1 Why cleanup is crucial 127
 9.2 Check your spelling 128
 9.3 Watch your grammar 129
 9.4 Watch your pronouns 131
 9.5 Check for common errors 135
 9.6 Some hints about style 137

References 143
Index 145

Descriptive Contents

Chapter 1: The Importance of Using Sources Effectively.
This chapter discusses the purposes behind bringing sources into your writing and how the skillful use of quotations, summaries, and paraphrases can give your writing both power and sparkle. By reading this chapter, you should come to view the research process and the use of research materials as an opportunity to enrich your own thinking and provide punch to the arguments you present.

Chapter 2: Finding, Choosing, and Evaluating Sources.
This chapter helps you think about the kind of information you need for the paper you will be writing. The purpose of the paper and the intended audience will shape your research. Search strategies both on and beyond the Web are covered, together with a set of guidelines for evaluating the sources you locate.

Chapter 3: Preparing Your Sources.
This chapter provides some helpful advice about organizing your research and taking notes in a way that will prevent confusion later. A good note-taking system will make writing the research paper much easier. Also in this chapter is advice about steps you can take to avoid—or defend yourself against—a false charge of plagiarism.

Chapter 4: Quoting Effectively.
This chapter covers why, when, and how to quote a source. Included is a dis-cussion of introductory strategies that will keep your source use fresh. The chapter presents a variety of quoting strategies and ends with the rules for punctuating quota-tions.

Chapter 5: Paraphrasing and Summarizing.
This chapter explores the use of paraphrasing and summarizing as alternatives to quoting. Presented are the Why, When, and How to paraphrase and summarize. In-cluded is information to help you decide when, for a given situation, it is better to quote, paraphrase or summarize your source. The final section warns writers to avoid the verbal disease of thesaurusitis.

Chapter 6: Avoiding Plagiarism.
This chapter provides practical instruction about what does and does not constitute plagiarism. You may be one of the many students who never received formal instruction about plagiarism and how to incorporate sources appropriately. This chapter defines the issues and clarifies some possible misconceptions in order to help you avoid unintentional plagiarism.

Chapter 7: Putting It Together.
This chapter shows you how to insert quotations elegantly and effectively  into your own writing, following the “simple rule” of marking the boundaries of the quotation to ensure that you are never accused of plagiarism.

Chapter 8: Effective Use.
This chapter goes beyond mere compliance with the rules of source use and dis-cusses how to use sources in a powerful and effective way. By employing some of the practical ideas in this chapter, you will be able to write much more vibrant and successful research papers.

Chapter 9: Editing for Accuracy.
This chapter offers many tips and reminders about spelling, grammar, and other common errors that tend to slip through unless attention is paid to them. Included are several suggestions for polishing your writing style to make it clear and effective.

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About the author:
Robert Harris is a writer and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college and university level. RHarris at virtualsalt.com