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Research Guides

Cite My Sources and Avoid Plagiarism

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What to expect from this guide

Hello! This guide explains how and why we cite sources in a research paper. It includes advice on:

  • Why we cite sources when writing
  • When we need to include a citation to avoid plagiarism
  • What a citation looks like
  • How to use a citation in your own writing

Tips to keep in mind

  • Plagiarism is often accidental! That's why it's so important to keep track of our sources and learn when to include their citations in our writing. You may be thinking, "I'm not a cheater, so I don't need to read this guide," but many cases of plagiarism are simply honest mistakes. 
  • There are several different citation styles, and some have complicated rules for different contexts. The most important rule is: when in doubt, ask your professor. They may have very specific preferences for how they would like you to cite in your assignments.