Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Citing Sources

To plagiarize:

  1. To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source.
  2. To commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

(Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarize)

The Obvious:

  • Stealing, buying, or using someone else's paper/work.
  • Cutting and pasting portions of someone else's text/work without citing it.
  • Forgetting to cite.
  • Providing incorrect or incomplete citations and forgetting to use quotation marks.

The Not-So-Obvious:

  • Turning in your own paper/work twice.
  • Ghostwriting a paper for someone else.

Here are a few tricks to help you avoid plagiarism:

  • Take notes as you research!  Write down citation information and brief notes on each source you might use in your assignments.
  • Color code your sentences as you write to distinguish what is your idea and what is someone else's idea.  Simply change the colors to black when you are done writing.
  • Proofread your paper to check for any citation mistakes.
  • Keep a source (like a library book) with you until you are absolutely done with your assignment.  Bookmark web content that you might use.
  • Get help with your writing if every sentence in your assignment needs a citation.  You might not be meeting the objectives of the assignment.

Watch this video to learn about the different types of plagiarism. (Sea Devil TV Productions)