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PED231:Human Development & Motor Learning: Reading & Using Sources

Parts of an article

Wait...how do I read this stuff?

Here are a few tips about reading those scholarly articles you found. Most important? Remember reading front to back is for novels and mysteries! Don't be afraid to read out of order.

  • Label the article parts
  • Start with the abstract--it should unlock the rest of the article
  • Read back to front
  • Figure out what they found out first, then figure out how they got there
  • If the graphs don't make sense, ignore them and read their explanation of the graphs instead
  • Look up words you don't know
  • Summarize as you read--it saves time

How to Read a Scholary Article

Starting with the raw material

Original Text:

“I don’t mean that some people are born clearheaded and are therefore natural writers, whereas others are naturally fuzzy and will never write well. Thinking clearly is a conscious act that writers must force upon themselves, as if they were working on any other project that requires logic: adding up a laundry list or doing an algebra problem. Good writing doesn’t come naturally, though most people obviously think it does.” 


This quote is from On Writing Well, by William Zinsser. It is located on page 12.

 

When and why should I paraphrase?

A direct quote tells the reader that you can find good information

A paraphrase tells the reader that you can understand and interpret the information that you read.

When should I paraphrase?

If you are trying to give the reader an accurate and comprehensive account of the ideas you have gathered from the source, paraphrasing is very effective.

Tips on Paraphrasing and Quoting:

  • Write a sentence as a transition before getting to the quote itself. You should ALMOST ALWAYS start a paragraph with your words, not a direct quote!
  • Having trouble writing in your own words? Close the book or turn over the piece of paper and write out what you're trying to say from memory. This helps because in order to do it well you have to understand what you're summarizing!

Proper paraphrasing in MLA

Paraphrase with signal phrase: (MLA)

Author William Zinsser (1994) argues that in order to write well, one must think clearly, just as if one were doing any other logical task.

  • The author is clearly identified in the sentence. The date comes immediately after the author’s name and is in parentheses. You should generally use a signal phrase the first time you mention an author you are citing.

Paraphrase without signal phrase: (MLA)

In order to write well, one must think clearly and work at it, just as if one were doing any other logical task (Zinsser 12).

  • The author is clearly identified in the parenthetical citation. The page number is immediately after the author’s last name. There is no comma between them. The end period is AFTER the citation, never before. This method can be used after the author has been established in your text by a previous signal phrase.

Quoting: More than copy/paste

Direct quotation with signal phrase (MLA):

According to author William Zinsser, “Thinking clearly is a conscious act that writers must force upon themselves, as if they were working on any other project that requires logic: adding up a laundry list or doing an algebra problem” (12).

  • The author is clearly identified in the sentence. The quotation is taken word-for-word and placed inside quotation marks. The page number is in parentheses that are OUTSIDE of the quotation marks. The end period follows the parenthetical citation.

Direct quotation without signal phrase (MLA):

The processes involved in thinking and writing are very closely connected. “Thinking clearly is a conscious act that writers must force upon themselves, as if they were working on any other project that requires logic: adding up a laundry list or doing an algebra problem” (Zinsser 12).

  • The parenthetical citation includes the author’s last name and the page number with no comma between them. The citation is OUTSIDE of the end quotation marks, and the end period is AFTER the citation itself.