Welcome to the Harvard Guide to Using Sources. As a required text for your Expos course, the Guide introduces you to the fundamentals of using sources in academic papers. You will be expected to understand these fundamentals as you write papers at Harvard, both for your Expos course and for the courses you will take beyond Expos.
When you use sources in academic writing, you engage in a conversation with scholars whose work you have been asked to read, analyze, or discuss in your courses. In the courses you will take at Harvard, your professors will introduce you to the major debates and questions in their fields and invite you to join the scholarly conversation by writing your own papers. Over the next four years, you will be asked to consider different types of sources as you investigate different questions. In order to hold up your end of the scholarly conversation in these different situations, you will need to understand how to use sources effectively and responsibly.
Your Expos course will introduce you to the principles of writing with sources that are common across the disciplines, as well as to the differences you might encounter as you move from course to course.
As you consult this Guide. you should keep in mind that the information available here is designed to be an introduction to the process of using sources in college, rather than an exhaustive guide to using sources in every field or every course. Understanding the information presented here will mark a significant step in your process of learning how to engage with other people's ideas and how to treat those ideas with respect, but the process of learning about source use will continue throughout your four years at Harvard—and beyond. You will be confronted with different situations as your research and writing becomes more complex, and you will need
to make sure you understand how to grapple with sources in these situations.
While this Guide offers useful reference information in each section, it is designed as a text that should be read from beginning to end. Once you have read the entire Guide. you will then have a better idea of which sections you will want to review at different points in your research process. The Guide is divided into six sections:
•"Why Use Sources?" provides an overview of what you will be expected to do with sources in college writing.
•"Locating Sources" offers a brief introduction to the Harvard libraries, along with a link to a special research resource for freshman that the librarians have developed.
•"Evaluating Sources" explains the questions you should ask as you determine whether particular sources are reliable and suitable for your project.
•"Avoiding Plagiarism" provides an in-depth explanation of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. The Harvard College Administrative Board expects all students to have read and understood this material, and you are responsible for doing so.
•"Integrating Sources" provides guidance about how to integrate the ideas from sources into your paper.
•"Citing Sources" contains citation examples in MLA style and APA style, as well as a link to the Chicago Manual of Style .
If you have questions about any of the topics covered in this Guide. don't hesitate to seek guidance from your preceptor, a librarian, a Writing Center tutor, or an instructor.
Learning to use sources effectively in your writing is a challenging process, and one that will continue throughout your four years at Harvard. The benefits of learning to use sources effectively are tangible, however: As you use sources with increasing sophistication, you'll be able to develop ideas of your own that are richer and more complex, and the process of writing will become more rewarding.