Reviewing and Revising an Argument

Familiar Sources

When relying on sources with which the audience is familiar--an article, book, or study, for instance--providing a lot of detail in the content isn't always necessary. It's fair enough to make a simple generalization place a proper citation in parentheses or a footnote.

Similarly, if you are relying on multiple studies that make the same point, a single sentence might be used to summarize the point all the works share, followed by a citation listing numerous studies and articles. For example:

As numerous studies have shown, students tend to revise more when writing on a computer (Selfe; Hawisher and Selfe; Kiefer; Palmquist).

Note: This advice may not apply to course assignments. Many times teachers want to assess your understanding of the content. As a result, they will expect details. Check with your instructor about how much knowledge you are allowed to assume on the part of your audience.

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