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Citing and Plagiarism: Citing Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

What is plagiarism? How can you avoid it? What are citation styles, and how can you get help? This guide will help to answer these important questions!

How Do You Cite Sources?

How you cite your sources depends on the formatting style required by your professor. (See the "Citation Styles" tab, above.) But the most common ways to cite are:

Within the text of your paper:

  • Parenthetical references, or
  • Footnotes

After the text of your paper:

  • Works Cited lists,or
  • References lists,  or
  • Bibliographies

See our "Citing Help" tab for much more information about this topic.

Why Should You Cite Your Sources?

Have you ever heard the saying, "Give credit where credit is due?" When you properly cite a source in your paper or project, that's what you are really doing: giving credit.

It's important to give credit to the person who first thought of a good idea or said something worth quoting -- if you don't give credit, then it appears that you are claiming the credit for yourself.  That's known as plagiarism. (See the "Plagiarism" tab, above.)

Don't claim credit, even accidentally. Give credit to the right person by citing your source.