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Citation Basics

Style guides, citation generators & research managers.

Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism (from the Latin “to kidnap”) “occurs when a person represents someone else’s words, ideas, phrases, sentences,”1 graphs or charts, order of ideas, or other data as one’s own work, deliberately or not.  To prevent any allegation of plagiarism, one must present the source or sources of all such information through the citation, that is, the complete, accurate and specific reference in a format specified by the professor or appropriate to the discipline. All statements quoted word-for-word must be acknowledged by placing the exact words of the source in quotation marks, along with the appropriate citation. All paraphrased statements must be acknowledged by use of the appropriate citation immediately following the material paraphrased.  (This statement and the quotation are excerpted from the Community Standards & Student Code of Conduct, “Academic Policies,” Section VII, Part A, p. 45.  See http://manhattan.edu/community-standards-and-student-code-conduct#32.Academic%20Integrity.)

  1. For this definition and several of the examples, we are indebted to the Ramapo College and the Kean University policies.  [The examples are not listed here.  See Community Standards & Student Code of Conduct, pp. 45-46.]

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What is Plagiarism

The list below is from the book "The Curious Researcher" by Bruce Ballenger

  1. Handing in someone else's work - a downloaded paper from the internet or one borrowed from a friend and then claiming it's your own work
  2. Using information or ideas that are not common knowledge from any source and failing to acknowledge that source
  3. Handing in the same paper for two different classes
  4. Using exact language or expressions of a source and not indicating through quotation marks and citation that the language is borrowed
  5. Rewriting a passage from a source with minor substitutions or different words but retaining the same style and structure as the orginal

Citation:
Ballenger, Bruce. "The Curious Researcher." New York: Pearson, 2004.

Plagiarism Tutorial from Steelman Library

Crediting Sources: Paraphrasing, Quoting & Summarizing

When using ideas presented in other sources, it is important to credit authors -- individuals or organizations. Crediting sources is expected in academic and professional writing.

        Three ways to present information from sources are:

  • Paraphrasing: rewording ideas in your own words
  • Quoting directly:  using the source's exact words.
  • Summarizing:  restating the main ideas of a text in as few words as possible.
  • In-text citations always follow summaries and are placed near paraphrased ideas and direct quotations.
  • Reference lists of all sources cited in the paper appear in a list at the end of the paper.