As you write, it is essential to cite your sources—to give proper credit to the original source of an idea, quote, or data, and thus, to avoid plagiarism.
- Read the library's guide: Plagiarism and How to Avoid It
- Use the ideas of others to reinforce your own argument - and give the original author credit by citing the source.
- Keep track of complete citation information whenever you take notes and while you are writing your paper. Unintentional plagiarism can result from sloppy research or from careless "cutting and pasting" of online sources.
- Any words, ideas, opinions, or original research that are not your own must be cited. This is true whether you copy material word for word or even if you paraphrase a passage. Use quotation marks when you directly state another person's words.
- Common knowledge, established facts and well known proverbs do not need to be cited. Examples: Albany is the capital of New York. Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Look before you leap.