How do I integrate sources in MLA formatting?

CWI Writing Center: MLA Source Integration

Paraphrases, summaries, or direct quotations can be used to integrate ideas from other writers. ALWAYS properly cite sources within the text and on the Work(s) Cited page to AVOID PLAGIARISM. Please see the Quote Sandwich handout for further information.

Paraphrasing is putting others’ ideas into your own words and doesn’t require quotation marks. Finding synonyms for the words is plagiarism if the sentences are still too similar.

For example: the colors below indicate the pieces of each sentence that match. Even though the words are different, more has to be done than changing the words. The words have to be expressed in a new way.

Note: Make sure you cite your paraphrase properly by using a signal phrase, for example “The source suggests,” and an in-text citation or it will still be plagiarism. Please see our Plagiarism and in-text citation handouts for more details.

Summarizing is taking a large amount of information from one source and writing the main ideas in your own words. What you use has to represent information from the source as the source intended.

Directly Quoting is copying two or more exact words and punctuation from the source. Include quotation marks around the direct quote:

Direct Quote Example


Suggested Approaches

For more information, contact the Writing Center.