When you research a topic, you might use information from articles, books, or the Web to support your ideas. You credit the authors of these sources by citing them. Failure to acknowledge information from others is plagiarism, a form of theft. In addition to avoiding plagiarism, cite sources to:
Select the tabs below to learn more about source citation.
You can find this information in your library catalog’s (IvyCat) record for the book, as well as in the book itself.
Articles: For articles, you may need the
Websites: For websites, take note of the
There are a number of different styles or formats for citations. The style you use is determined by your instructor. Each citation style includes the same basic information but is organized differently.
|Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed.
Lastname, F. M. (Year). Book title. City, State: Publisher.Example (book, one author):
Tolkien, J. R. R. (1984). The monsters and the critics and other essays. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.In-text citation: (Tolkien, 1984, p. 34).
(Modern Language Association)
|MLA Handbook, 8th ed.
Lastname, Firstname, M. Book Title. Publisher, Year.Example (book, one author):
Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays. Houghton Mifflin, 1984.In-text citation: (Tolkien 34).
Notice the similarities and differences in these two citation styles.
NoodleTools is a resource for creating lists of citations and in-text citations in APA and MLA format. Enter information from a source and NoodleTools creates a Works Cited or References list ready for copying and pasting into your paper.
Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of someone else as your own. If you don’t credit the author, you are committing a type of theft. Whether you quote directly or paraphrase ideas, you must acknowledge the original author. It is plagiarism when you:
For more information about recognizing and avoiding plagiarism, check out this brochure.
Plagiarism ranges from copying word-for-word to paraphrasing a passage without credit. Below is a sentence from a book. The original source is followed by its use in three student papers. As you read, try to identify which of the students have committed plagiarism.
Original Passage: "Still, the telephone was only a convenience, permitting Americans to do more casually and with less effort what they had already been doing before." (Boorstin, Daniel J. The Americans: The Democratic Experience. New York: Random House, 1973.)
Meg: The telephone was a convenience, enabling Americans to do more casually and with less effort what they had already been doing before.
Brian: Daniel J. Boorstin argues that the telephone was only a convenience, permitting Americans to do more casually and with less effort what they had already been doing before.
Peter: Daniel J. Boorstin has noted that most Americans considered the telephone as simply "a convenience," an instrument that allowed them "to do more casually and with less effort what they had already been doing before" (Boorstin 390).
In these examples, both Meg and Brian have committed plagiarism. Meg doesn’t acknowledge that the words and ideas she uses belong to Boorstin, leaving her readers to think they are hers. Although Brian acknowledges his source, he has copied Boorstin’s original text word for word but has not supplied quotation marks to indicate direct quotation.
Note how Peter's use of Boorstin's words and ideas differs. By naming the author, he has established the authority of his source at the beginning of his sentence. Peter has also provided an in-text citation giving the author and page number (MLA citation style). He has paraphrased some of the author’s words and directly quoted others. His use of quotation marks makes it clear to the reader which words are his and which belong to the author.
A copyright is a set of legal rights that an author has over his or her work for a limited period of time. Images found on the web, sound or music files, text in print or online--all of these created works might have restrictions on their use by anyone other than the copyright holder.
Copyright ensures that the person who created something (a book, a song, a painting, an idea, etc.) is reimbursed for his or her intellectual property. If there were no copyright protection, there would be no economic incentive to create these works. Most information is protected by copyright. The exception is “public domain” work, which is work that can be reproduced or used by anyone. The use of public domain resources still requires giving credit to the author.
Here are some examples of public domain sources:
Publications of the U.S. Government:
Copyright that has been waived by the author:
Works on which the copyright has expired:
Copyrighted works can be used, copied, or displayed without permission or paying of fees under certain circumstances. To determine if you have “fair use,” you must analyze and weigh four factors to balance the rights of the copyright holder and the user.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is not meant to be legal advice. If you are not sure if your use is covered by the Fair Use doctrine, consult an attorney.