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Citing Sources: Avoiding Plagiarism

Citation styles and tools for citing sources/managing citations

Plagiarism Definition

The UC Merced's Academic Honesty Policy defines plagiarism as:

...the use of another’s ideas or words without proper attribution, or credit. This includes, but is not limited to: copying from the writings or works of others into one's academic assignment without attribution, or submitting such work as if it were one's own; using the views, opinions, or insights of another without acknowledgment; or paraphrasing the ideas of another without proper attribution. Credit must be given: for every direct quotation; when a work is paraphrased or summarized, in whole or in part (even if only brief passages), in your own words; and for information which is not common knowledge. The requirement to give credit applies to published sources, information obtained from electronic searches and unpublished sources.

Paraphrasing

  • When you paraphrase, you are restating what an author has written in your own words.
  • Paraphrased information should always be cited, even if you are not quoting directly.
  • You should paraphrase:
    • to avoid extensive and lengthy quotations
    • to maintain your flow of writing
    • if you do not need the direct quote to make your point

Example

Original Text from Facebook Tells Me So: Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior to Understand Partner Monitoring Behavior on Facebook by Millie J. Darvell et al:

“By design, Facebook facilitates surveillance as members can track the beliefs, actions, and interests of the larger group to which they belong, providing a medium where monitoring, investigation, and even stalking behavior are considered acceptable use of the network.”

 Paraphrased Version of Text:

To a certain degree, Facebook normalizes behavior that, in other venues, might seem out of place, including excessive interest in the personal lives of friends and acquaintances. Facebook’s design makes it possible to spend a lot of time following the actions and whereabouts of people who may or may not know each other well (Darvell).