Writing Tip #17: Avoiding Plagiarism: Citing
This is how you legally use someone else’s material in your papers. Students make such a big deal out of citing, but it’s an easy process that covers your behind and makes you look smart! The rules are that you must cite after you have paraphrased and after you have used quotes. Cite after each sentence in which you have used another’s idea(s).
If you have made conclusions based on what you have read from the material that you are citing, you do not have to cite that material. Those ideas are yours, and perhaps someone will need to cite you one day! Remember that your professor most likely has access to plagiarism detection software, so don’t take the chance. You are a scholar!
Check your institution’s chosen document formatting style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) for exact guidelines. Usually, citing only entails the author (s) name(s), year of publication, and page or paragraph number for quotes. Why put yourself through the embarrassment and punishment of plagiarism accusations when citing is simple?!
An example of a (paraphrased) citation in APA format is:
“Research shows that the two theorists are correct in their assertions (Simon, 2012).”