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Cite Sources: Cite Sources

Learn how to cite your sources and avoid plagiarism.

Introduction to Citing

A citation identifies information you have used in writing your paper. You can cite books, articles, videos, speeches and more. A listing of citations can be called a "bibliography" or "works cited" or simply, "references."

Why cite?

You must cite your sources whenever you use someone else's words, images, or ideas to give that person credit for his/her intellectual property. Citing sources is also necessary so the reader can find the information you used in your research. Citing sources will help you avoid plagiarism. 

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism occurs when you use someone else's intellectual property without properly crediting them, and it is a serious offense. Always cite your sources whether you quote or paraphrase.

To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use:

  • another person's idea, opinion, or theory
  • any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings--any pieces of information--that are not common knowledge
  • quotations or paraphrase of another person's actual spoken or written words

To learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid it, check out Highline Library's Plagiarism Tutorial or this tutorial on What Every Student Needs to Know about Plagiarism.

To see the differences between citation styles, see this chart from the OWL at Purdue has a chart.

Citation Software

Finding Citations in Library Databases