Different media and formats may use different conventions for providing credit for sources used. For example, journalists may credit an individual source by name and a qualifier to indicate their relevance to the topic. Websites and online articles typically hyperlink to a cited study, report, or other article rather than including a full in-text citation and reference list.
Look for well-written and highly read examples of work in the format you are writing in. Emulate the methods for attribution, or providing credit to sources, that they use. If in doubt, ask your professor or a librarian.
What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is using someone else's work without giving him or her credit, leading your readers to think those words are yours. While this might seem easy to avoid, many people who plagiarize do so unintentionally. Although most people think of plagiarism as recording someone's exact words without crediting him or her, it also includes re-arranging someone else's words (paraphrasing) or using his or her ideas. These forms of plagiarism are far more common and require careful attention to avoid.
According the Arizona State University LibGuide on Citation and Plagiarism, there are four main reasons to cite:
The main reason not to plagiarize is because doing so is unfairly attributing ideas of someone else to yourself, whether or not you intend to.
If you’re unsure whether or not to cite something, ask your professor or a librarian for help. Remember, it’s better to overcite than undercite!