Citing Sources: When do I have to cite?

In over a decade of teaching, the #1 reason I find for student plagiarism is students not understanding¬†when¬†to cite a source. In this post, I’m going to get right to the point and tell you exactly when you need to cite.
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Avoid Plagiarism: Take Good Notes

Most students have heard of plagiarism, and most also understand that plagiarism can have serious academic consequences (more about plagiarism in a later blog post). Many students, however, don’t have a good grasp of how to avoid plagiarizing even when they are trying not to. One strategy you can use is to take good notes while you are conducting your research.

How can you use note-taking to reduce your risk of plagiarism?

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Pointing to Each Other: Citation Basics

In the last post in this series (Citing Sources: Why Do We Do It?), I explained why we cite our sources as academics. In this post, I’m focusing on how we cite sources, but in a broad sense: what elements are common to all citation styles?

I’m sure that someone, somewhere, has counted the number of different citation styles that exist–let’s just say that there are a LOT. Fortunately, you don’t need to know them all; what you need to know is (1) what style your teacher wants and (2) what style is used in your academic discipline. Biologists use a different style than the English department.

Many students in my classes are familiar with MLA, the citation style of the Modern Language Association, or APA, the style of the American Psychological Association. There’s also the Chicago Manual of Style (usually just called “Chicago”) or Turabian or ASA . . . Again, you don’t need to know them all. Just know that they are out there, and that you can find reference books for each that tell you how to organize your citation material.

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Citing Sources: Why Do We Do It?

There are few things in academic writing that frustrate (or even terrify) students more than (1) citing sources and (2) avoiding plagiarism. The two are closely related. I will discuss plagiarism in detail in later posts devoted to paraphrase, summary, and quotations. In this post, we’re going to explore the rationale behind citing sources: why do we do it?

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