This can be used as an example for my ENG 1001 and ENG 1002 essays. And while I’ll be specifically grading for citation sandwiches, sandwiching your evidence within your body paragraphs in the way I’ve outlined below will bring a couple key things to your academic writing:
- Academic Authority: providing appropriate signal phrases and explanation will show readers that you’re using credible and relevant sources that fit within the context of your argument.
- Organization: preparing readers for what is coming with a topic sentence, signal phrase, and helping them see the connections that you’ve just made with your citation examples and wrap-up sentences will help them understand the content that you’re providing them. It’s like a little mini 5-paragraph essay within your body paragraphs.
- Grading: while my grading expectations include citation sandwich formatting specifically, I’ve simply named a common grading expectation the “citation sandwich” to make things more clear for students. Additionally, most IVCC English instructors use the department grading guidelines that looks for strong organization, thesis, and support within student writing, something use of citation sandwiches will generally provide your essay.
Citation Sandwich Components
- topic sentence of body paragraph
- set-up or build the paragraph’s point (1-3 sentences)
- citation with signal phrase
- explain the content of your citation AND/OR provide context for your citation (2-3 sentences; more if you’ve provided a long block quote or rather dense citation)
- repeat steps 2-4 as needed
- wrap-up your sentence point and begin to transition to the next paragraph (1-3 sentences)
Here’s an Example
Topic sentence of body paragraph. 1-3 sentences that set-up or build the paragraph’s point. Slate Magazine makes the claim “The great drawback to becoming a celebrated voice of a generation is that it encourages writers to believe that whatever idle thoughts drift through their minds … are automatically of interest“ (Smith, Jones, and Pond). While those in previous generations were taught that children should be seen, not heard, the up-and-coming Generation X has generally been encouraged for individual opinions. Repeat steps 2-4 as needed. 1-3 wrap-up and transitional sentence (remember that your transitions can be at the end of this paragraph, the beginning of the next paragraph, or combination of the two via connecting language/words.
Things to note about this example:
- The parenthetical documentation formatting of this source tells readers this article includes an author name (and the page number of the citation, when known–often this is not known on Internet source). On the Works Cited page, this entry would begin with the last name of the first author mentioned.
- The use of the introductory signal phrase as well as the continued reference back to the source while including additional information helps show readers when the paraphrase begins and where it ends as well as what source provided the info/idea.
- The explanation or context provided by you the student is nearly as long as the paraphrase citation, making your voice be just as strong (or stronger) than the voice of the citation.
And here’s a link to transitional language post if you’re looking for ways to provide more transition within and between your paragraphs.