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Session 3

Study Skills 5 – Using sources

Welcome back to our Study Skills series – where we've got the tips and knowledge to help you develop your academic skills and become a top-class distance learner. This time we're looking at how to find and use sources successfully in your academic assignments.

Sessions in this unit

Session 3 score

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  • 0 / 5
    Activity 1
  • 0 / 3
    Activity 2

Activity 2

Paraphrasing, summarising, and quoting

Question 3 asked about paraphrasing, summarising and quoting in your academic assignments – did you pick up all the tips? Let's remind ourselves of the question first.

Question 3
What are the key features of these three types of reference – paraphrase, summary and quote?

To do

Check what you know by trying this activity.


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Paraphrasing, summarising, and quoting

3 Questions

Check you've understood about paraphrasing, summarising and quoting by answering these questions.

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7 top tips for using sources successfully

You've nearly reached the end of this unit. At the bottom of this page you can find links to more useful study skills materials.

But before we finish, let's take another look at what we've learned about using sources. Check to see if you got all seven tips!

  • Refer to other people's work in your assignments to show you've done research – but always acknowledge the source, otherwise it's plagiarism!
  • You can give a short reference in the main text of your writing – make sure you include the author's name and the publication year for your source.
  • In the reference list at the end of your essay you should include more information about your sources, like titles, chapters, publishers.
  • Summarise long source texts – take the main ideas and express them in a shorter form.
  • Paraphrase sections of the source text – rewrite them in your own words, changing the vocabulary and grammar.
  • You might want to quote something from a source text directly – especially if it is expressed concisely or is a well-known fact or theory.
  • Don't rely on quotes too much! They should only be used as evidence to support your own points.

Find out more

Visit our partner The Open University for more study tips – just click on the 'Where next?' link.

Where next?

Academic Writing image link 5  Study Skills index image link  GTD OU SS image link 5

Session Vocabulary

  • Find out more about distance learning – visit our partner,The OU


    To help you understand the tips in this Study Skills video, here are some key words and their definitions:

    copying some else's work and pretending it is your own

    to reference
    to mention something and show the source

    to paraphrase
    to repeat something using different words