Citing Sources: Citing Sources

Citing Sources

NEW!  Check out EasyBib, a citation, note taking, and research tool.

Citation Styles

There are quite a few different ways to cite resources in your paper. The citation style usually depends on the academic discipline involved. Check with your professor to make sure you use the required style, and whatever style you choose, be consistent.

Avoiding Plagiarism

To avoid plagiarizing someone else words or ideas, make sure you:

  • Paraphrase the original text into your own words. Be sure you are not just rearranging phrases or replacing a couple of words.
  • Use quotation marks around text that has been taken directly from the original source.
  • Cite every source of information you use to write your paper unless it is common knowledge or the results of your own research. This includes facts, figures, and statistics as well as opinions and arguments.

"The purpose of a research paper is to synthesize previous research and scholarship with your ideas on the subject. Therefore, you should feel free to use other persons' words, facts, and thoughts in your research paper, but the material you borrow must not be presented as if it were your own creation."

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th Edition. New York: MLA. 55. Print.

Plagiarism @ Columbia College

According to Columbia College's Student Conduct Code, plagiarism is using others' ideas and words without clearly acknowledging the source of that information.

Plagiarism may take many forms: cheating, copying information directly without providing quotation marks, failing to cite sources, or citing sources incorrectly. It does not matter whether you intended to plagiarize or whether the plagiarism occurred unintentionally; it still constitutes academic dishonesty. Ignorance of the rules of correct citation is not an acceptable excuse for plagiarism.

Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty can subject a student to both academic discipline and disciplinary action under the university Student Conduct Review Process, and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, course, or dismissal from Columbia College.

If you are unclear as to what constitutes plagiarism, ask your instructor or a librarian for further clarification.

Writing Center

The Columbia College Seabrook Writing Center also has useful info on MLA and APA documentation.  See their page on Essay Writing Assistance.

VIDEO: Why Cite?

Acknowledgement

This guide is an adaptation of the Citation Guides guide created by Scott Pfitzinger, Information Commons & Technology Librarian at Butler University in Indiana, as well as the Research Process guide from Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Co.