I am doing a PhD in physics / applied math and have just started writing the theory section. A large-ish part (5-10 pages, estimated) will be setting the scene with some theoretical tools that I am using but did not invent. These tools will eventually be used as the basis for analysing data.
I will say the word so you don't have to think it: plagiarism. I have absolutely no desire to plagiarize so am very careful about citing my sources - however while writing I get the feeling that I am simply copying off of others.
Question, in two parts:
- Can anyone give a strategy for how to write a theory section and make it ``your own'' while clearly citing relevant material?
- Is this feeling actually normal and am I just over-reacting?