Citation and Plagiarism
This tutorial will cover the
importance of citing your
sources, the types and
plagiarism, as well as
strategies for avoiding
A citation is a reference noting
the fact that you used a quote,
idea, paraphrase, or other
mention regarding another’s
work in your assignment.
Citations can be formatted
according to multiple style
guidelines, including American
(APA), Chicago Manual of Style,
and Modern Language
Association (MLA). Your
professor will specify the style
you should use; this decision
typically is based on the
• By referring to the work of professionals in your
field, you draw on their expertise and knowledge.
• By citing correctly, you show your professor that
you’ve done your research and that you can back
up your claims.
All educational institutions have a policy of academic
integrity in place, to help guide students in their
understanding of expectations of honest, original
schoolwork. Preserving one’s academic integrity requires the
• Express one’s individual thoughts and ideas
• Cite all information gathered from other sources and
• Complete work and exams with accuracy and honesty
Students who complete assignments based on original
theories, research, and reporting improve their ability to
think critically at school and eventually, in the workplace.
If you choose to continue your academic career by pursuing an
additional degree, the citation skills you develop now will help
you continue to produce high quality papers and projects. If you
decide to establish a professional career following
graduation, these same skills will serve you well as you
collaborate with colleagues as a member of a team, research
topics for reports, and deliver lectures and other presentations
Plagiarism is the act of
misrepresenting other’s work
as your own. It is a violation
of all schools’ academic
policies and in some
cases, can prove to be illegal.
Citing someone else’s
material will avoid
The Consequences of
Though it’s an accepted practice to
draw on the expertise and knowledge
of professionals in your field by
quoting their research in your
paper, you must be sure to give the
original author credit for their work.
Go on to the next slides to find out
what can happen if you plagiarize.
In 2010, an Ohio State University graduate’s degree was
revoked because she stole many passages from a fellow OSU
Not only was her degree revoked, and all of her hard work
deemed irrelevant, but the Bowling Green State University
professor who wrote the original passages sued the graduate
for $15,000. The consequences of not using information
ethically extend beyond campus.
In 2008, a student who participated in the
University of Virginia’s Global Studies
Program was expelled from the
program, because she copied a source wordfor-word for an assignment without citing
Though expulsion from school, legal issues and failing
grades are devastating consequences in and of
themselves, the consequences of not using information
ethically extend beyond campus.
In 2006, a Harvard undergraduate was accused of copying
parts of another book into her newly published novel. As a
result, her book was pulled from the shelves and her
potential for future projects greatly decreased as her
reputation was sullied.
There are many different
types of plagiarism. Two
of the most common are
Plagiarism by intent is also considered
academic dishonesty. Whether it is
falsified data and citations or using
someone else’s work as your own, it is
all considered plagiarism.
You can also plagiarize
forgetting to cite, losing a
citation, or even not fully
understanding when you
need to cite - even ideas
must be referenced.
It is also possible to plagiarize yourself. One example of self
plagiarism is reusing parts of a paper you turned in last year or
even retitling the paper and turning it in again for a different
class. You must always cite, even if you cite yourself.
Tips to Avoid
• Keep organized notes to track
• Cite whenever you use
anything from others’ research
– this includes when you
quote, paraphrase, or
• Do not use research papers
from your friends or
classmates, and do not share
• Do not buy or download
research papers online.
When Do You Cite?
You should cite your sources whenever you
use information that belongs to someone else.
This includes when you quote, when you
paraphrase or even when you summarize main
points from someone else’s work.
If you are unsure about whether or not to cite
something, talk to a reference librarian on the
3rd floor or NU Library.
As we learned earlier, there are different citation styles that
you can use to format the references in your paper or project.
The most common are APA, Chicago, and MLA. Again, APA is
used in the social sciences, including
anthropology, economics, history, political
science, psychology, and sociology. Chicago covers the arts
and humanities, and sciences and social sciences; while MLA
is used by the liberal arts and humanities, including fine
arts, languages, literature, and philosophy. It is important to
pay attention to your professor’s preference for style format
and ask for assistance via the library’s Reference Help
service, where you can learn to create reference lists.
Test Your Skills:
You got an A on a coastal erosion paper in a previous class.
You are in a new class where you can pick your own topic. You
simply update a few sections and turn it again. Is this
Yes. This is self
plagiarism. It is also
fraud.” As a student
seeking a degree for
activity is fraudulently
getting credit again for
Software such as
Turnitin may also catch
Test Your Skills:
Your assignment is to express an opinion about a topic you know
nothing about. You find an academic blog from a well known
scientist and use his stated opinion as your own with no
attribution or acknowledgement. Is this Plagiarism?
Yes. All information formats
must be cited. Though a
scientist is well known, the
opinion cannot be considered
to be a well-known fact or
Professors often Google
entire portions of discussion
posts to see if any sections
have been copied and pasted.
Test Your Skills:
You are required to use an academic Sociology Journal to
reply to a questions. You find a far easier to read article in a
“Letters to the Editor” section of an online newsletter. You
cite the article that the Letter to the Editor is about and
never find the original work. Is this Plagiarism?
No. However, it is an
practice. Citing a research
paper when only the
abstract is available to
you is also poor practice.
The essential rule to
integrity is to only cite full
text works that you have
read and reviewed
yourself. Do the work.
This tutorial introduced
you to the different
types of plagiarism and
gave you tips on how to
Want to learn more about citation?
The Purdue OWL
APA Style Tutorial
Chicago Manual Online
Copyright Clearance Center Basics
Apply your knowledge
of citation to respect
rights and use
when completing your