You've Found a Trustworthy Source: Now What?

All argumentative writing is structured in basically the same way: the writer presents an idea (in a thesis or a topic sentence, for example) and then supports that idea with specific details. The terms people use to describe these various pieces of an argument might differ, but their operation within the argument and their relation to each other remain pretty much the same.

So always be conscious that your research is providing you with support for an idea that you have already expressed in your own words. Keeping this in mind can also make your research process more effective once you have found research material, because you can read effectively, looking for that specific level of detail—supporting quotation—that you can use in your own writing.

Be sure that part of your writing process is to take good notes as you read so that you can find important quotations later, when you need to add them to your writing.

Consider using an outline to help guide your research source reading. Have you determined what "ideas" you want to cover within your overall thesis? In other words, do you have a sense of what your topic sentences might be? Once those are in place, or even once just a couple are in place, you can read your sources with an eye to filling in the outline with the "details" that will go to support your ideas.