What is Plagiarism?
To plagiarize means to:
- Steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own;
- Use (another's production) without crediting the source;
- Commit literary theft;
- Present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
(Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary definition of "plagiarize," retrieved June 20, 2005)
How to Cite Articles
- Determine which citation style to use; the two most commonly used at CSUN are MLA and APA. If your professor didn't specify, pick one and use it consistently.
- Check the sample style sheets (MLA or APA) to see what information the article citation should contain and how it should be formatted.
- Be sure to indicate where material you quoted directly or paraphrased came from.
For more information, see Citing Your Sources - Plagiarism.
Citation Formatting Tools
Citation managers are software that keep track of your sources and automatically format your citations in a variety of styles.
This tab contains citation guidelines and examples in both APA and MLA style formats, along with links to other styles and resources on citation styles. The style you should use is usually determined by the discipline or course in which you are working. Ask your instructor what style s/he requires or recommends.
Why Cite Sources? Avoiding plagiarism is the most obvious reason; it also helps you back up your arguments with credible evidence and allows others to track down the same resources.
Before turning in your paper, check for these common citation errors:
- Is the list of sources alphabetized?
- Are titles capitalized and/or underlined as required?
- Is spacing and indenting correct?
- Is proper punctuation used?