Students are often confused about citation: when it's necessary and how to do it.
When Citation is Necessary:
Generally speaking, if you are using an idea generated or developed by someone else, you must give them credit to avoid plagiarism. This applies whether you summarize, paraphrase, or quote a source. Plagiarism is a form of cheating and can result in extreme consequences for a student ranging from a zero on the plagiarized assignment to loss of scholarships, recommendations, and NCAA eligibility. In extreme cases, a student could be expelled from the university. See the Academic Honesty Policy for details. Take a plagiarism quiz to test your understanding.
How to Cite - the Basics:
Make it clear where in your paper another author's ideas begin and end. This is true for summaries, paraphrasing and word-for-word quotes.
- Phrases such as "according to..." and "[Author's last name] argues that..." are effective when indicating the start of another author's idea. (See the box at the top of page 234 of The St. Martin's Handbook - 8th edition for a list of signal verbs.)
- An in-text citation or superscript/footnote is needed to show where in your paper the other author's ideas end. (Format of in-text citations and footnotes depends on which style you're using.)
- Finally, a list of all sources must be included within the paper. (Format of list depends on which style you're using.)
Many students own a copy of The St. Martin's Handbook - 8th edition because it is required for WRIT 101, 102, and 104. This book has a great deal of information about four of the major styles:
- Chapter 32: MLA Style
- Chapter 33: APA Style
- Chapter 34: Chicago Style
- Chapter 35: CSE Style
Online resources on the Benedictine University Library website:
- Citation Guides and Style Manuals: This online library guide provides general information about citation and specific information about six styles commonly used by Benedictine University students: APA, AMA, CSE, Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, and NLM.
- Government & Legal Documents: This web page provides information about how to properly cite government and legal documents.
- Plagiarism: This web page provides information about what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.