26 Integrate
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26 Integrate As you’re gathering material, you need to start thinking about how you’re going to integrate it so that facts, opinions, quotations, graphs, images, definitions will flow seamlessly together and contribute to the overall desired effect. Successfully integrating material is not just a matter of learning the conventional ways to punctuate quotations. More than perhaps any other single stylistic feature, the smooth integration of outside material tips the reader off about the experience and professionalism of the writer. Awkwardly managed quotations undermine the writer’s authority and may make the reader more suspicious about the quotations themselves and the writer’s argument. Sometimes the way the writer handles the outside material is just as important as the material itself. Purposes of Integrating Writing projects would be much easier if everything we wanted to include came straight from our heads, no quotations, no paraphrases, no data, no flashbacks. But even people who write memoirs often have to gather material from outside their heads and find a way to work it into the text. Did it Integrate     211 really snow on your tenth birthday in May? Was your great-grandfather really a pirate? Readers aren’t going to be happy if you say “maybe.” We integrate outside material for a number of reasons: facts, details, images, and opinions from respected sources add interest, variety, and intellectual weight to the writing. They can complement the writer’s own ideas and make points clearer by wording them in different ways. Most importantly, they add authority and credibility to the writing. Generalizations often carry only the authority of the writer: a statement like “Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player in history” is likely to be met with the response, “Who says?” But add some information, and the statement is much more compelling: “His record 17 Grand Slam wins prove that Federer is the greatest tennis player.” It’s possible to imagine a writing style or tradition that didn’t practice integration , didn’t care about flow, didn’t emphasize coherence or connection; the writer would be expected just to produce individual units of material, and it would be up to the reader to make connections between the units. We would probably call such a work a collage, and indeed it has been successfully used over the years. But in most situations, the reader wants to know what links the writer sees between unit A and unit B—the transition is the most interesting part. Some of the moves in this chapter, such as summarizing and synthesizing, are core techniques of critical thinking. To think critically, we bring different elements together and put them in conversation with each other; we compare and define and analyze. And to make the final product readable, we integrate. Integrating Moves Some writers build a draft around quotations and paraphrases. This strategy is likely to make the integrated material feel integral to the text rather than like an after-the-fact addition. But if done carelessly, it can give the text a sense of being a quote quilt, other people’s ideas stitched together with a few words from the author. Because I find the actual drafting to be the hardest part of the writing process, I’m inclined to hurry through it with as few interruptions as possible, noting where I want a particular fact or quotation but not bothering actually to stick them in until after I’ve drafted a section. Like the other moves, integrating moves can be useful at any stage of the writing process; you should keep yourself open to relevant facts or quotations from the minute you decide on a topic until you submit the finished paper. Finding a good line from a respected source can lead to discoveries, development, new gathering efforts . . . to any other stage in the writing process. Prepare As I’ve encouraged you to do throughout the book, learn as much as you can about your audience before you start writing. Probe attitudes about 212    MOves integrating sources (move 119). Even if you have a model for the kind of piece you’re trying to write, you need to determine • Does your audience want you to include material from other sources and voices? If so, what? • How are such materials introduced? Are they just listed or given long block quotes? • What citation system does the audience expect? Footnotes? Endnotes? In-text citations? APA, MLA, some other system? • Is there a specific section, like the literature review, where...

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  • English language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching.
  • Literary form -- Study and teaching.
  • Language arts.
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