So what's the big deal about citing sources anyway?
If you do not cite sources you are stealing someone
else's work or ideas.
Now that might not sound like a big deal, but to campus
it is and if you are caught stealing someone's ideas or work its called
plagiarism. If you are caught plagiarizing a document then the University
will punish you ranging from your instructor asking you to redo your bibliography
to being kicked out of CSUS. Yes, you read correctly, the University can
and will kick out students who plagiarize. Read more about the Academic
Dishonesty Policy at http://www.csus.edu/admbus/umanual/UMA00150.htm.
So the key is to avoid plagiarism. How? Below are
some tips to avoid plagiarizing a document:
If in doubt, cite it!
If you are not sure whether you should cite a passage
or concept, do it. Unless something is accepted as common knowledge like
“Columbus sailed in 1492” then in general it is a safe idea
to simply add a citation, either in text, in a footnote, or a parenthetical
Make a works cited page as you write your paper.
While you are writing and including citations to
strengthen your arguments or prove points simply make a note in your bibliography
and works cited page. That way you will not need to hunt through all the
resources at the end of the project trying to remember which idea or sentence
came from whom.
Take a test to see if you understand Plagiarism.
The Indiana University School of Education has
an online test to check your skills at detecting plagiarism. http://education.indiana.edu/~frick/plagiarism/
Refer to your Style Manual frequently.
No matter what citation style you are using check
the style manual frequently to see how they cite sources and create bibliographies.
The APA manual has an excellent example of a research paper and is a valuable
resource to consult if and when questions arise.
Check out these links to other sources on citation
CSUS Library: Plagiarism Information for CSUS Students
and Faculty http://library.csus.edu/content2.asp?pageID=353
CSUS Writing Center Home page http://www.asn.csus.edu/writing/
CSUS Library: Style Guides http://library.csus.edu/guides/rogenmoserd/general/style.html
CSUS Library: APA Style Guide (APA 5th Edition) http://library.csus.edu/guides/blackmer/APAstyle.htm
CSUS Library: MLA Style Guide http://library.csus.edu/guides/rogenmoserd/general/mla.html
CSUS Library: Citing Electronic Sources http://library.csus.edu/guides/bradleya/eography.htm
Remember when in doubt CITE IT!