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Information Literacy

Citations and Plagiarism Defined

A citation is important for many reasons.

  • It attributes information to the creator of that information.
  • It provides authority and context for the audience.
  • It makes it possible for others to find and/or replicate research.
  • Finally, information creators often feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in their list of citations because it documents a research journey. The citation list shows what survived and remained relevant to the project after all that searching and evaluating, and it is a way to "show off" what you found.

Plagiarism is taking text, ideas, images, sound recordings, or other creative expressions that belong to someone else and representing them as your own. When you effectively cite your sources, you avoid plagiarism.

Help With Citations

  • Citation Sources (Styles) Guide An extensive collection of resources, guides and tips for understanding, creating and using citations.
  • Excelsior Online Writing Lab All-round best guide to formatting papers and citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago. Also includes many tutorials on how to research and write papers. 

Recognize and Avoid Plagiarism