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COM 201: APA style

APA Manual (Paper Version)

APA Style Guide to Electronic References

See this guide for help with citing online sources in APA style.


Avoiding Plagiarism

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.

Why Should I Cite?

According the Arizona State University LibGuide on Citation and Plagiarism, there are four main reasons to cite:

  1. To acknowledge the author(s) of the work you are using in your paper.
  2. To demonstrate that the sources for your paper are of good quality and that the paper is well-researched.
  3. To allow readers to follow up on ideas mentioned briefly in your paper by finding the sources of the ideas and reading further.
  4. To give readers a context for your work and to provide links to others who have researched about the topic so readers can explore what else has been said about it.

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!

In-Text Citations

Material from your paper that's from another source needs to be cited both in the text immediately after the cited material (in-text or parenthetical citation) and at the end of the paper in the works cited. However, if you mention information about the source in the text of your paper, you do not need to include that information in the citation immediately afterward.

For example ...

Example 1: Jenkins (2003) described the beginning stages...
Example 2: In the beginning stages... (Jenkins, 2003)

(Box adapted from LMU/LA Library APA Guide)