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How To: Citation and Style Guides

Use the left-hand tabs below to learn about plagiarism, copyright, and commonly used citation styles.

What is Plagiarism?

Definition

“To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own: use (another's production) without crediting the source.”

Plagiarism. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarizing

WNC Policy: Plagiarism in Academic Writing

Western Nevada College Academic Integrity Policy: Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words, ideas or data as one's own. When a student submits work that includes the words, ideas or data of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate and specific references, and if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks as well. In academically honest writing or speaking, the student will acknowledge the source whenever:

a. Another person's actual words are quoted.

b. Another person's idea, opinion or theory is used, even if it is completely paraphrased in the student's own words.

c. Facts, statistics, or other illustrative materials are borrowed, unless the information is common knowledge.

Types of Plagiarism*:

  • Blending
    Mixing words or ideas from an unacknowledged source with your own.
    Mixing words or ideas from several unacknowledged sources into a single work.
    Mixing proper citation and acknowledgement with those that are not cited or acknowledged.
  • Direct
    Copying a phrase, passage, or source word for word without being quoted or cited properly.
  • Paraphrasing
    Rephrasing another person's work in your own without acknowledging the original source.
  • Insufficient Acknowledgement
    Attributing proper credit at least once, but continuing to use the author's words or ideas without additional attribution.

* adapted from materials published by the McGoonan Library of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Always Acknowledge Your Source of Information

When you quote someone else's words, summarize or paraphrase someone's words, or use someone else's data, images, or ideas, you must always acknowledge the source of that information with an in-text citation and in a works cited page or a references list.  Examples of both in-text citations and a works cited page or references list can be found on this subject guide under the APA Style pageMLA Style page, and the Chicago Manual of Style page.

Avoiding Plagiarism