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EDR 610: Preventing Plagiarism

1. Learning objectives

 You will learn to:

  • Articulate the importance of citing sources and using style guides.
  • Articulate the definition and scope of plagiarism.
  • Format and interpret citations in the American Psychological Association (APA) style.

2. Why do I need to cite my sources?

Evaluating information is only the first step -- once you find credible information, you need to incorporate the information into your work in a way that acknowledges the original author by citing your sources.

Imagine research as a conversation -- researchers are trading ideas back and forth and building on the findings of earlier work. Citing your sources is an important part of contributing to this conversation -- it allows readers to understand how your work fits into the overall conversation.

Citing your sources is the smart and honest thing to do

3. What is plagiarism?

The NAU Student Handbook defines plagiarism as "representing the words, expressions, productions or creative works of another as one’s own in any academic exercise" (see the appendix entitled "Academic Integrity"). Plagiarism, like all forms of academic dishonesty, is subject to disciplinary action at NAU.

View the following video from the Rock Ethics Institute's Academic Integrity Vignette Series to learn more about plagiarism:

4. When do I need to cite sources?

To avoid plagiarism, NAU's e-Learning Center advises you to cite sources when:

  • You directly quote a source
  • ou paraphrase a source
  • You summarize someone else's ideas in your own words
  • You draw on facts, information, data or media from someone else
  • You want to add supplemental information not included in your paper, such as footnotes or endnotes

Note: You do not need to cite generally accepted knowledge. For more information, see Not-So-Common Knowledge.

(The text above is a direct quote from the e-Learning Center's Academic Integrity @ NAU tutorial. The e-Learning Center was paraphrasing Princeton University's guidelines. In this case, we credit both sources to show the progression of the ideas -- we'll learn how to format citations properly in the next two boxes).

5. How do I cite my sources?

To cite your sources, you first need to understand the anatomy of a citation.

A citation for an article might look like this:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

Pickering, G. J. (2009). Optimizing the sensory characteristics and acceptance of canned cat food: Use of a human taste panel. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 93(1), 52-60.

A citation for a book might look like this:

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

Mayr, E. (1982). The growth of biological thought: Diversity, evolution and inheritance. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press

A citation for an article or chapter in an edited book might look like this:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.

O'Brien, C. (2005). Drug addiction and drug abuse. In L. B. Brunton, J. S. Lazo, & K. L. Parker (Eds.), Goodman & Gilman's The pharmacological basis of therapeutics (11th ed., pp.607-629). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Different types of publications (articles, books, conference papers, book chapters, edited books, etc.) include different elements. The elements required for a particular type of citation are those that allow a reader to find the source you cited.

citation style guide is a set of rules that specifies which elements you need to include when creating a citation for a particular publication. It will also specify the order and formatting of these elements -- such as which parts should be italicized, capitalized, in bold, indented, etc. There are many different citation style guides.

Following a formal citation style ensures that your readers will be able to find the sources you referenced. Also, formatting your citations in a standard way makes it easy to tell at a glance what kind of source you are referencing.

6. What style guide should I use for this class?

For this course you are required to use the APA style guide. To learn the basics of APA style, please watch the following video from The Hartness Library:

7. How do I format citations correctly in APA style?

To learn the basics of APA style, please review the following pages from The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Formatting citations within the body of your paper or presentation (these are known "in-text citations" or "parenthetical citations"):

Formatting citations in your references list (the list of works you cited in your paper or presentation):

Still need help? Here are some other places to learn about APA style: