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Academic Integrity

Basic Tips on Avoiding Plagiarism

What is a Citation?

Citation: A Brief Introduction by NC State University Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US)

Why Citations Matter?

When you incorporate or refer to others' theories, words, ideas, or concepts in a paper or project, you must document each one using a citation.

You need to cite:

  • Direct quotes

  • Paraphrases and summaries

  • Words or terminology specific to or unique to the author's research, theories, or ideas

  • Use of an author's argument or line of thinking

  • Historical, statistical, or scientific facts

  • Graphs, drawings, or other such aggregations of information or data

  • Articles or studies you refer to within your text


Types of Citations

In-text citation - limited information for a specific source that you incorporate in the body of your paper. Anything referenced in an in-text citation must have a corresponding entry on the full citations list.

Full citations - a separate listing at the end of your paper of all the sources you incorporate in your paper's body with each source's detailed and complete location information.

Citations Styles - set specific rules for creating both in-text citations and full citations. Depending on the style guide, this list has different names - Bibliography, Works Cited, References - and will follow various organizational patterns.

Source: Fundamentals of Engineering Technical Communications by Leah Wahlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC-BY-NC-4.0)