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Citation Practices and Avoiding Plagiarism: Getting Started

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In the Citation Practices and Avoiding Plagiarism guide, you can:

... or get started by learning what citation is below.


What is citation?

Scholarly research incorporates ideas from many sources, and consequently, all scholarly research builds on the works of others. Scholars use the process of citation to clearly reveal just how they are relying on other people's work   

In short, proper citation does three things: 

  1. It allows readers to evaluate the evidence that an author is using to support arguments in their paper. 

  1. It shows related research and how that work is relevant.  It identifies scholars who influenced an author’s thinking and shows how an author’s work is situated in existing bodies of research.  

  1. It gives credit to other scholars for their work and ideas.   

Failure to cite sources when necessary is called plagiarism, and it's considered a serious ethical breach.  As a new practitioner and author, you may have questions about proper ways to use the research of others and avoid plagiarism. 

This guide was created to answer those questions, and to point out additional resources (including librarians and offices outside of the library) to help you successfully engage with scholarly documentation.


Need help now? Get in contact with a librarian instantly Mondays through Fridays, 9am-5pm Eastern time. 
If you have a question outside of chat hours, submit it here and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.


Librarians can help you save time locating resources so you can spend more time engaging with the sources you find. Book an appointment for a research consultation with a subject specialist librarian.

Weingarten Learning Resources Center can work with you to improve your time management and note taking skills.

The Marks Family Writing Center has a number of services that can help improve your writing style with particular issues and in general.



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