Webster’s II New College Dictionary (1995) defines “plagiarize” this way: “to steal and use (the ideas or writing of another) as one’s own.”
Using another person’s words or ideas without acknowledging your debt to them is a form of cheating.
It can result in serious penalties including failure in a course or suspension from the university.
To give others a chance to learn from the resources you found useful
To show you stand by your work, since you are willing to let others verify it
To give credit where credit is due
To make your own original ideas stand out
Examples of plagiarism include:
Handing in as your own work a paper you did not write.
Using the exact wording of another writer without enclosing the material in quotation marks and properly citing the source.
Using another writer’s ideas or observations without properly citing the source, even if you if did not copy the source word-for-word.
Most forms of plagiarism by students are unintentional.
By understanding when you should cite your sources, you can avoid accidental plagiarism in your papers.
In general, you do NOT need to provide citations for:
You DO need to cite the source for:
How you write out your citations will be determined by the style your instructor wants you to use.
Manuals for common styles are available in Pfau Library or the CSUSB bookstore:
APA style (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association)
MLA style (MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers)
Turabian (Manual for Writers of Term Papers, by Kate Turabian)
A good research paper will not need a citation for every sentence.
However, you must avoid presenting interesting ideas or apt phrases as if you had created them, when in fact you are borrowing them from someone else.
A safe rule: When in doubt, cite. Always ask your instructor if you have questions about when to cite!