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Citing Sources

Information on using citation styles for correct formatting and use of citations.

Plagiarism: What is it?

Plagiarism = Intellectual theft

Definition: Plagiarism is using another's words, ideas, or artistic creations and presenting them as one's own. Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional.

What is Plagiarism
Expanded information on plagiarism from the software firm that produces Turnitin.

Copy and Paste Culture

Copying and pasting is easy in our age of digital technologies, but it's also plagiarism and can have serious consequences. 

Even if you cite a source, if you copy and paste entire chunks, or even sentences, of someone else's work, you are plagiarizing (see Example 3 in the next column).  Make sure to use quotation marks around any phrases that come from somewhere else.

Please Note

The SJU Department of English's required resource for undergraduate writing and citation style is  by Andrea Lundsford.

In addition to presenting clear instructions on documenting sources this guide offers suggestions on organizing research, avoiding plagiarism, and the mechanics of writing.

Avoid Plagiarism: Understand Types of Plagiarism

3 Types of Plagiarism


Example: Submitting another student's work as your own.
Example: Submitting a paper downloaded from an internet site.



Using a person's written or spoken words without setting them off in quotation marks and/or properly acknowledging the source in a footnote or endnote.

Original Publication:

Student Paper:

Example 1:

Incorrect! ---
Even though not exactly the same in structure, the words of the original sentence were lifted directly, and no citation is given to the original work.

Example 2:

Incorrect! ---
Even though the student has cited the source, they use the language of the original writer and do not paraphrase, while also not quoting.  They should use quotation marks if they are lifing language directly. 

Example 3:

Correct: StarCorrect!: The student has indicated, with quotation marks, that the words he uses are Nixon's and not his own.  In order to complete his reference to Nixon, he will have to include the correct citation to the work in a bibliography at the end of his paper:

Nixon, S. (2009). An Internship like no other. Black Collegian, 40(1), 41-43. Retrieved December 15, 2009 from Academic Search Premier database.



Paraphrasing another's words or ideas without properly acknowledging the source in a footnote or endnote.

Original Publication:

Student Paper:

Example 4:

--- Even though a few words are changed, this is much too similar in wording and structure to the original.  It also has no source acknowledgement.

Example 5:

--- Although the text in the paraphrase is valid, there is no source acknowledgement.

Example 6:

Correct: StarCorrect!---The bibliography must then have the full citation to the source as shown above:

Emmons, W.D., Wechsler, H., Dowdall, G., & Abraham, M. (1998). Predictors of smoking among US college students. American Journal Of Public Health, 88 (1), 104-107. Retrieved December 8, 2003, from EBSCOhost database (Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition) .