Integrating Sources in Writing

Putting your reading into writing is an important aspect of written assignments for GSA.

One of the key features of academic writing is that it is based on research—the writing belongs to and builds on an existing body of knowledge. This involves reading and taking notes from sources such as books, websites, journal articles, exhibition catalogues, and then integrating the most relevant points from these sources into your own written work.

See here for advice on doing research with written sources.

Learning how to incorporate information from primary and secondary sources into your own writing is one of the most important skills to develop as an academic writer. There are three basic forms: summarising, paraphrasing and quoting. These pages explains the differences between these three methods, which are also important in note-taking during the research stage.


These pages also provide guidance on referencing, which is essential when using sources in academic writing, and explain what is meant by plagiarism.

There are numerous verbs that can be used to introduce and explain quotes, paraphrases and summaries in your writing. For example:

reportinganalyses; argues; asserts; believes; claims; comments; compares; concedes; concludes; criticises; demonstrates; describes; evaluates; defines; discusses; disputes; illustrates; indicates; investigates; notes; observes; points out; predicts; recognises; shows; states; suggests; validates; verifies

For more on reporting verbs, see this resource from the University of Adelaide.

Next page: summarising