Plagiarism happens when any information, words, or ideas are taken from a source without acknowledging it. When you fail to acknowledge someone else's work and take it as your own, you are stealing that person's work. Most students who plagiarize do so accidentally. You can avoid this if you know what is required in citations according to the style type that you are using. When you use any material from a source, you must cite it both in the text and on the reference page. This is true for any type of source integration. The main types of source integration are:
Determining which form of source integration to use requires a process of careful reading and understanding. When you use source integration, you are mentioning sources within the text of your paper. Signal phrases, though they are not required, are useful tools for introducing information. Even if you are not using a signal phrase, make sure that your source is clearly introduced; this allows your reader to identify when you begin using material from your source. Any information that is not in the signal phrase but is required must appear at the end of the sentence as a parenthetical citation (or as a footnote in Chicago Style). Each type of source integration requires a different type of citation. Each style of writing has its own process for citations. To see overall guides for the three main style types, click the links in the appropriate boxes.
The boxes to the right have examples of different types of source integration and how to cite them using the three main style types.
The Modern Language Association (MLA) is primarily used for writing in languages and the humanities. The most important goal for writing an MLA-format research paper is keeping track of where your information came from and how it is relevant to your topic and argument. In this way, you will build credibility with the reader by citing respected and knowledgeable professionals.
The American Psychological Association (APA) is primarily used for writing in the social sciences and nursing. The most important goal in writing an APA paper is keeping track of information sources and how they are relevant to the topic and argument. For more information about APA style, see the Introduction to APA Style guide provided below.
Chicago Style writing was developed by Kate L. Turabian. It can also be called Turabian Style. Generally, Chicago Style is used for writing in history. The central focus in writing a research paper in Chicago style is the presentation of specific and general source material in an easy-to-understand format that makes distinctions without complicating citations. The genres that use Chicago style often emphasize names, dates, and places. The technical aspects are important because they demonstrate the difference between general ideas and specific evidence without cluttering the paper.
Summaries usually condense several pages of a source or even a whole document; for this reason, page numbers are not necessary. Even though the material is stated in your own words, you must still cite the source both within the text and on the reference page. Here are some examples of in-text citations:
Koch argues that...
Research shows that... (Koch).
Koch (2008) argues that...
Data shows that... (Koch 2008).
A study in 2008 shows that...3
The literature argues...7
Synthesis is a form of summarizing that combines several sources. To synthesize, you should combine summaries from sources that agree on many overall points. Make sure that ALL points of agreement appear in ALL texts. It is unacceptable to misrepresent a source simply to make it fit into your paper. Synthesized sources do not require page numbers because the summary represents more than one source. Here are some examples of in-text citations for synthesized sources:
|Studies by Koch, Green, and Coates agree that...|
|Studies show that... (Koch; Green; Coates).|
|Studies (Coates, 2007; Green, 2010; Koch, 2008) agree that...|
|Data has shown that (Coates, 2007; Green, 2010; Koch, 2008).|
|Some sources have claimed...6|
|note: For Chicago style formatting, multiple citations should be listed in the same footnote in order to group all sources together.|
Paraphrases are similar to summaries in that they use your own words; however, paraphrases focus on a small part of text while summaries focus on a larger portion. Unlike summaries, paraphrases CANNOT be synthesized and must include page numbers. Paraphrases should basically state the same thing as the original source using your own words. Remember, you must not misrepresent a source. Here are some examples of in-text citations for paraphrased text: MLA: According to Koch... (42).
The data represents... (Koch 42).
Paraphrases are similar to summaries in that they use your own words; however, paraphrases focus on a small part of text while summaries focus on a larger portion. Unlike summaries, paraphrases CANNOT be synthesized and must include page numbers. Paraphrases should basically state the same thing as the original source using your own words. Remember, you must not misrepresent a source. Here are some examples of in-text citations for paraphrased text:
According to Koch... (42).
Koch (2008) states that... (p. 42).
The literature represents... (Koch, 2008, p. 42).
According to Koch,...7
History has shown that...3
Quoting sources is perfectly acceptable in papers; however, your paper should not be filled with quotations. Most professors would prefer you to use one of the other methods of source integration. They would rather hear your own words and ideas. Quotations should only be used when you are planning on analyzing the text or cannot put it into your own words. In the latter case, the quotation is too perfect to say any other way.
All quotations must appear in your paper EXACTLY as they do in the original source. DO NOT misrepresent a source with any quotations that are taken out of context or that do not reflect the overall meaning of the paper.
Using quotes does not make up for a lack of knowledge of the subject matter. If you use a quote, you should be prepared to explain the meaning and discuss the significance. If necessary, use a dictionary to figure out the meaning of the quotation. If you have the wrong meaning and use it in a way that contradicts your paper or is irrelevant, you will only discredit yourself.
Like paraphrases, quotations cannot be synthesized. This is because the words are exact from one particular source. You should provide page numbers for quotations whenever possible. Page numbers allow your reader to find the quotation and read the surrounding material.
Signal phrases for quotations are important. Technically, you can save all of your citation for the end of the sentence, but this does not make for a good paper. Using a quotation without any sort of introduction or signal makes it sound abrupt and out of place. Here are some examples of in-text citations for quotations:
According to Koch, "..." (42).
"..." (Koch 42).
Koch (2008) says, "..." (p. 42).
"..." (Koch, 2008, p. 42).
American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological
Association (6th ed.). Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Modern Language Association of America. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New
York: MLA Association of America, 2009. Print
Turabian, Kate. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 7th ed. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 2007.
Note: each reference is given in its own individual citation style.