Create a Conversation

Incorporating someone else’s ideas and words into your own writing or speech can be confusing. Fortunately, one strategy can help. This guide will teach you the “source sandwich”, a model to integrate sources smoothly.

The Model

The Source Sandwich

  • Introduce the source. Mention the source format, focus, and creator’s name (if applicable).
  • Use a signal verb before the quote, paraphrase, or summary from the source.
    • Signal verbs: reports, explains, confirms, emphasizes, or suggests
  • Include a citation with the quote, paraphrase, or summary.
  • After the source, explain how the source supports your thesis or argument.

Writing Example

This source is a government document, with a government organization author (U.N.). The sandwich technique still works.

The U.S. could enjoy many benefits from a relationship with the U.N. for drones. In article 43 of the U.N. charter, it states one of the primary obligations of the U.N. is to “maintain or restore international peace and security” (Barrett). This article indicates that the U.N. should have an interest in the war on terrorism.

J. Lynn H.D. From Source Usage
Other Considerations

Oral Communication

In a presentation with slides, the source sandwich is similar to writing. Introduce your sources with images or figures, and include in-text citations on slides.

Without slides, you will need a verbal citation, which is a verbal description of the source information.

In this video, a speech professor explains how to do this effectively.

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The writing center can help with quotations, paraphrasing, and summarizing.