One of the key points in “Using Sources” that stuck out to me was the emphasis on writers and researchers not being objective in their understanding of material. This aspect of human nature is something I had commented on in my “Why I Write” first draft. I explain that everything I write reflects who I am in some way. For example, I say that “the mere process of selecting certain evidence to prove a point reveals what I view as significant”. This is exactly what the reading warns us against! It therefore struck a cord with me when the reading states, “we have to guard against those biases both in your own work and in your sources.”
I also liked how the reading emphasized how you don’t have to agree with the conclusions in a source to use its data. In fact, the argument doesn’t have to even be relevant to your own research question. I feel that often in my own research process I get too caught up in trying to find the “perfect” research article. There are many unconventional ways to use research. One way I had never previously considered is borrowing the logic of a resource as opposed to just its content.
Lastly, I completely agree with the passage in the reading that explains, “if you cannot summarize a passage in your mind, assume you don’t understand it well enough to use in an argument.” I definitely use this strategy when trying to thoroughly understand a piece of writing. Frequently when I am struggling synthesizing a point of research, it is because I don’t understand it well enough.