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Using Evidence: Integrate

Integrate

In order for a reader to understand the impact of a direct quotation or paraphrased source material, you should work to integrate your evidence into your paragraph's overall discussion. A strong way to integrate source material is to use transitions. Take a look at these examples:

Paragraph with direct quotations not integrated:

Teachers in ESL classrooms need more access to professional development. According to Grant (2009), "The percentage of ESL students in high schools has gone up 75% in the last ten years" (p. 338). Gramber (2010) said, "The scope of ESL education is changing rapidly" (p. 2834). Judes (2008) suggested, "ESL teachers often do not have updated certification." A study found that "Non-native English speakers require a different pedagogy than native speakers" (Bartlett, 2004, p. 97).

In this paragraph, there are several excellent direct quotations. However, readers cannot determine why the author chose to list each of these ideas or how they are connected. This paragraph feels a bit choppy because the author is jumping from one idea to another. By using transitions, though, the author can identify the relationships among the ideas.

Paragraph with direct quotations revision (revisions in bold):

Teachers in ESL classrooms need more access to professional development. According to Grant (2009), "The percentage of ESL students in high schools has gone up 75% in the last ten years" (p. 338). This increase has caused a shift in the tradition training of ESL educators. Speaking of this shift, Gramber (2010) said, "The scope of ESL education is changing rapidly" (p. 2834). With such a fast change in training and requirements, districts often neglect to keep their teachers up to date. Judes (2010) suggested, "ESL teachers often do not have updated certification" (p. 33). However, teachers must have up-to-date techniques and be familiar with the most recent theories in the field of ESL education. A recent study found that "Non-native English speakers require a different pedagogy than native speakers" (Bartlett, 2011, p. 97), thus showing the need for teachers to be current in their training and pedagogy. One of the best ways to accomplish this update and keep educators aware of currents trends and theories in their fields is through professional development.

Note that all the transitions and connecting sentences are in bold. These sentences help to move the reader along from one quotation to another while also connecting the quotations.

Paragraph with paraphrased material not integrated:

The causes of childhood obesity are various. Greg (2005) found that children need physical activity to stay healthy. One study found that the amount of time spent in front of the television or computer had a direct correlation to an individual's BMI (Stephens, 2003). Parsons (2003) debated whether nature or nurture affects childhood obesity more. Scientists have linked genetics to obesity (Parsons, 2003). Parents often reinforce bad lifestyle habits (Parsons, 2003).

Here there is a list of paraphrased sentences, but again they seem to be missing any links or connections to show how the different ideas are related. Rather than simply using a list of paraphrased sentences from these sources, the author of the next example integrates each piece of information from the sources by using extra explanation or transitions.

Paragraph with paraphrased material revision (revisions in bold):

The causes of childhood obesity are various. Greg (2005) found that children need physical activity to stay healthy. However, children's inactive lifestyles and the time they spend in front of a screen seem to consume the time they could otherwise spend playing outdoors or involved in physical activities. In fact, this lack of physical activity has a direct effect on body fat index (BMI). One study found that the amount of time spent in front of the television or computer had a direct correlation to an individual's BMI (Stephens, 2003). While screen time is correlated with high BMI, Parsons (2003) still debated whether nature or nurture affects childhood obesity more. Though Parsons admitted that scientists have linked genetics to obesity, he also explains that parents often reinforce bad lifestyle habits (Parsons, 2003).

Adding transitions allows the author to make connections while still presenting the paraphrased source material.