On this page, we'll consider the importance of integrating sources into your writing and how to do this correctly within the conventions of science communication.
It helps to keep a couple of things in mind as you work through the exercises below:
For a broader discussion on these aspects of information literacy, see the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy
Scholarship is a Conversation. From University of Washington Libraries.
Why Citations are Important
In science communication, include citations to external and reliable sources in order to:
Direct Quotation, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing
There are certain conventions in science writing that make it a little different from other academic and non-academic writing:
Here are a number of practical resources on using sources in science writing.
The following paragraph is taken from the introduction of a primary research article on factors affecting an ecosytem's ability to reduce drinking water turbidity available online from KPU Library. Here is the full citation:
McMahon, J. M., Olley, J. M., Brooks, A. P., Smart, J. C. R., Stewart-Koster, B., Venables, W. N., Curwen, G., Kemp, J., Stewart, M., Saxton, N., Haddadchi, A., & Stout, J. C. (2020). Vegetation and longitudinal coarse sediment connectivity affect the ability of ecosystem restoration to reduce riverbank erosion and turbidity in drinking water. The Science of the Total Environment, 707, 135904-135904. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135904
Using the above paragraph, practice making one or two in-text citations. Remember that directly quoting is not usually done in science writing. Instead, create a paraphrase, or a summary, of one or two sentences above.
Add them to this Google Doc so we can view together as a group [link opens in a new tab]. Your additions will be anonymous, so don't worry about being wrong.
Below is a PDF with examples of how to incorporate sources into your writing. Feel free to print it off or save to your own device for future writing.
It borrows heavily from the very useful text:
Graff, G. & Birkenstein, C. (2013). “They say/ I say”: The moves that matter in academic writing (3rd ed.). Norton.
KPU Library has several editions and copies of this book. Check it out!