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Q. Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism



"The action or an act of quoting or referring to a passage, text, author, legal precedent, etc., esp. as an authority or in support of an argument; quotation.OED


Citations are the way scholars reference outside sources and ideas that are not their own. They include the name of the author(s), the date of publication, the title, journal title or publisher, and other relevant information like page numbers, version, issue, DOI or how the source was accessed. Citations consist of two parts: (1) In-text citations which reference the author(s), date of publication, or page numbers, and (2) the Works Cited, References, or Bibliography page consisting of the complete citation. -- Taken from "What are Citations? MLA, APA, and Chicago"


In other words, a citation occurs when you're referencing the words or work of someone else, by summary, paraphrase, or quote, and you need to give them credit. -- NOTE: If you're trying to give credit to someone in your oral presentation, be sure to check in with a Speech Consultant for some help!


Citations come in many forms, and most professors/assignments have a specific format in mind. Be sure to ask your professor which style they'd prefer you use! If they give you the freedom to choose, consider browsing through these helpful resources to know what kinds are out there and which you might pick!


Consider browsing these helpful handouts:  

  1. GVSU Library Citation Support
  2. GVSU Writing Center Helpful Handouts, Style: Citation & Formatting
  3. Other Citation Styles - University Libraries for University of Washington
  4. What are Citations? MLA, APA, and Chicago
  5. Excelsior Writing Lab: Citation Support
  6. Which Citation Style Should I Use? - University Libraries for University of Washington
  7. APA (Resource Market page) 
  8. Chicago (Resource Market page)
  9. MLA (Resource Market page)
  10. Excelsior Writing Lab: Citation Support -- MLA, APA, & Chicago
  11. MLA Style Center - Using MLA Format
  12. MLA Style Center - Work Cited, a Quick Guide
  13. MLA Basic Paper - Front Page Example Shape (GVSU)
  14. MLA Formatting Help - Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
  15. Citation Style Chart, by Purdue OWL
  16. Chicago 17th Edition Formatting Help - Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)



Plagiarism is using someone else's work and passing it off as one's own. The term comes from the Latin word plagiarius,which means kidnapper.


Menager-Beeley, R., & Paulos, L. (2006). Understanding plagiarism: A student guide to writing your own work. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.



  • Keep track of your resources as you go by creating a system to keep your resources organized. For instance, use a different note-card for each resource or identify them by using the text color function on your computer. Write the name of the source or citation on the top of the page, keeping all ideas, direct quotes, or phrases separated by source.


  • When borrowing an author's wording for your own assignment use quotation marks and include a complete citation (author name, date of publication, page reference) that can easily lead the reader directly to the source.


  • Paraphrasing another's ideas without clearly citing the source also counts as plagiarism. Give a complete citation that can easily lead the reader directly to the source. Do this when borrowing another author’s views, ideas or opinions for your own assignment. 


  • Work used previously in another class cannot be re-used (self-plagiarism) without permission from the instructor. For example, if you’ve written a similar paper for another class, you would be self-plagiarising if you simply submitted that paper again.

(Adapted from Allison Leaming, University of Arizona, 2007)


Consider browsing this helpful handout:  

  1. What is Plagiarism? 
  2. Academic Integrity -- GVSU Student Conduct, Division of Student Affairs 
  3. A Guide to Writing Terminology 
  4. Paraphrase: Write It In Your Own Words (Purdue University)
  5. Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  6. Paraphrasing Examples (Montgomery College)
  7. The 20 Best Free Anti-plagiarism Tools
  9. Copyright & Plagiarism 


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  • Last Updated Oct 31, 2019
  • Views 50
  • Answered By Francesca Golus

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