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What it is and ways to avoid it, with exercises and examples

Why Cite?

  • To distinguish between what is yours and those of others. So, don't cite your opinions, ideas, thoughts, interpretations, judgements, personal experiment, personal observation, commentary, analysis, argument, rarrative, description, designs, figures, images, etc...anything that you originated.
  • To acknowledge someone else's work and ideas.
  • To let others know that these are not your words (if you disagree with them).
  • To receive credit for the work you have done (shows off your research and writing skills).
  • To provide your readers with specific information (author, title, publication date and publisher, volume, issue and page numbers) to verify your sources or pursue a topic further.

Citing to Avoid Plagiarism

Taken from the Student Guidebook to Resources and Citation - Pearson Publishing

1. Provide clear attribution of outside sources.

2. Identify all works and phrases taken from sources by  enclosing them  within quotation marks.

3. Follow all quotations, paraphrases, and summaries of outside sources with appropriate and complete citations.

4. Use your own words and sentence structure when you paraphrase.

5. Be certain that all summaries and paraphrases of your sources are accurate and objective.

6. Include all print and retrievable electronic sourcs in the References page that follows the body of your papers.

7. Provide documentation for all visual images, charts, and graphs from printed or electronic sources.

Templates for Introducing Quotations

From Purdue OWL website: Quotations need to be taken from their original context and integrated fully into their new textual surroundings.  Every quotation needs to have your own words appear in the same sentence.  Here are some easy to use templates* for doing this type of introduction::

Templates for Introducing Quotations

X states, “__________.”

As the world-famous scholar X explains it, “________.”

As claimed by X, “______.”

In her article _______, X suggests that “_________.”

In X’s perspective, “___________.”

X concurs when she notes, “_______.”

You may have noticed that when the word “that” is used, the comma frequently becomes unnecessary.  This is because the word “that” integrates the quotation with the main clause of your sentence (instead of creating an independent and dependent clause).  

Now that you’ve successfully used the quotation in your sentence, it’s time to explain what that quotations means—either in a general sense or in the context of your argument.  Here are some templates for explaining quotations:

Templates for Explaining Quotations

In other words, X asserts __________.

In arguing this claim, X argues that __________.

X is insisting that _________.

What X really means is that ____________.

The basis of X’s argument is that ___________.

Source:  Purdue OWL []