What is plagiarism? Why should I cite sources?
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means
- to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
- to use (another's production) without crediting the source
- to commit literary theft
- to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.
What is Plagiarism? (n.d.) Retrieved November 11, 2010, from <http://www.plagiarism.org/learning_center/what_is_plagiarism.html>
Plagiarism is wrong because..
It is unethical
It is illegal
It is against all academic codes of conduct
It robs the plagiarizer of important skills
The Fraud of Plagiarism tutorial Retrieved December 9, 2010, from "Why is it wrong?" <http://www.cte.usf.edu/plagiarism/plag.html>
When you quote or paraphrase another person's idea in your research paper, it is imperative that you provide a proper citation to the source you used:
..to avoid plagiarism (presenting someone else's ideas as your own is a violation of the Honor Code)
..to give credit to the author of the idea
..to allow someone else to locate the source
..to lend credibility to your work
Plagiarism.org provides an excellent definition of plagiarism and gives useful examples.
How to cite sources correctly
There are different standards for citing sources in bibliographies of research papers, depending on the academic discipline. In general, however, a citation should include all of the information necessary for someone else to locate the source (author, title, source & issue information, date). Ask your professor which particular style he/she prefers.
Guides to help you with citing sources accurately:
- Using APA Format (American Psychological Association) from Purdue OWL
- APA Style homepage
- Using MLA format (Modern Language Association) from Purdue OWL
- AIP Style Manual References (American Institute of Physics)
- The Chicago Manual of Style Online
- Chicago Manual of Style from Purdue OWL
In addition, the following style manuals are available in print at the S.C. Williams Library:
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Ref BF76.7 .P83 2010
- AIP Style Manual (American Institute of Physics)
Ref QC5 .45 .A45 1990
- The Chicago Manual of Style 15th ed.
Z253 .U69 2003
- Handbook of Technical Writing, 7th ed.
T11 .B78 2003
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Modern Language Association of America)
LB2369 .G53 2003
- MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing
Ref PN147 .G444 1998
- Scientist's Handbook for Writing Papers & Dissertations
Ref T11.W48 1991
- The ACS style guide : a manual for authors and editors
QD8.5 .A25 1997
Examples of plagiarism
Here are some common types of plagiarism.
- Completely copying another's work, word-for-word without citation
- Copying pieces of one or more sources without citations
- Paraphrasing a small or large portion of another's work without citation
- Improper citation (leaving out info or providing inaccurate info)
- Mixing proper citation and no (or improper) citation
- Copying one's own work from a previous publication or assignment without indicating that it was a previous work
Types of Plagiarism (n.d.) Retrieved August 28, 2012, from <http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_types_of_plagiarism.html>
Reference and Research Services
Samuel C. Williams Library
Stevens Institute of Technology
Citing tools and reference management
Reference management tools can save you time and make your research and writing time more efficient. Reference management tools are online tools that help you organize your references and cite your sources easily and quickly.
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.
(Definition used with permission from Olin Library Reference
Research & Learning Services
Cornell University Library
Ithaca, NY, USA)
Department Style Guides
This useful guide helps you explore style manuals or journal citation methods specific to academic disciplines or journals. This guide was created by the University Library at California State University Long Beach.