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Plagiarism for Students: Understanding and Avoiding: Citing

Reasons why to cite a source

  • Gives credit to authors whose works you have used.

  • Provides a trail by which others can locate the materials you consulted.

  • Provides evidence of your research.

  • Properly citing materials is one strategy to help you avoid plagiarizing.

What needs to be cited:


•Anything you’ve learned in your research
•Information that would not be common knowledge, even if you knew it before
•Direct quotes

What does not need to be cited:

•Common knowledge - things like the year the Declaration of Independence was written or the name of your state’s capital
•Your own conclusions or interpretations