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Open Educational Resources: Citing Sources

A collection of open access (free) resources. This includes electronic books, journal articles, and miscellaneous other resources.

Style Guides

Why Should I Cite? 

  • To show you reader you've done proper researsh by listing sources you have used to get your information.
  • They give proper credit to the authors whose ideas you’re quoting or paraphrasing. 
  • Professors want you to cite in your work so they can go back and find where you got the ideas, quotes, etc.
  • Finally, citations protect you from plagiarism, they are academically required. 

When Should I Cite?

  • You should use citations whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize the work of someone else.
  • Quotations are exact duplicates of other people's words.
  • Paraphrases are other people's ideas rewritten in your own phrasing. They're usually about the same length as the original material.
  • Summaries are other people's ideas that you've shortened to highlight the main ideas. They're always shorter than the original material.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism by Citing Your Sources

Ideas in words, ideas, pictures, interview, conversations, etc. created by someone else that are presented by you (in any format), need to be documented. Once you take this idea and present it in any medium, be it print, video, audio, etc. you will need to document the source. An exception would be “common knowledge,” meaning something known by most people.

There are usually three ways to present someone else’s original work in your written paper:

  1. Quoting
    A quotation must use the exact words of the source. If the quotation is relatively short (usually fewer than 3 lines or 40 words), those words must be enclosed in quotation marks, with the creator’s information in parentheses ( ), usually at the end of the statement. Longer passages need block quotations.  
  2. Paraphrasing
    By using different wording, but still presenting the same idea, a paraphrase may be created. Usually paraphrasing is used to make the idea more succinct, using fewer words, or to clarify the original concept. Just changing a couple of words in not acceptable paraphrasing.
  3. Summarizing
    Giving the major points of a concept in a briefer format is summarizing. Many of the details are left out, but the main ideas remain.

More about these strategies can be found at Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing” in Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab.

Union County College Plagiarism Policy

Any UCC student who is found guilty in violation of academic integrity by a faculty member is subject to any or all of the following actions:

  •  A grade of F for the work in question.
  • Any other action deemed appropriate by the faculty member, including lowering of the final grade for the course and/or makeup work.
  • Immediate and complete failure for the course.
  • A Censure or Probation initiated by the faculty member and enacted by the Dean of Student Development Office. This includes the creation of a file in the student's name with full documentation of the act of academic dishonesty.
  • Upon the recommendation of the Academic Vice President, immediate dismissal fromthe College. This decision may be appealed to the Judicial Committee.

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