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Citing Your Sources Workshop

Give Credit where Credit is Due

The main rule to follow is to give credit where credit is due. If the idea, thoughts, words, etc., originated from someone else, then you need to cite after it. 

Using citations:

  • Shows your Professor that you performed research on your subject and found good sources;
  • Demonstrates that you can use sources correctly and are not plagiarizing content;;
  • Adds credibility to your work.

The chart below explains where you would need to credit a source and where a cite is not required. (The information in this chart - and loads of other useful facts about plagiarism - can also be found on the OWL at Purdue's website.)


Citation Required                                    No Citation Needed

When you copy the EXACT WORDS used in a book, article, website, movie, or other medium 

When you are writing about your own personal thoughts, experiences, and conclusions

When you use the IDEAS of another person, even if these have been put into your own words

When you are writing up your own results obtained through lab or field experiments you conducted

When you REUSE an image, video segment, or audio clip made by another person

When you use your own artwork, digital photographs, video, audio, etc.

When you use words or ideas learned through an in person, phone, or email INTERVIEW

When you are using "common knowledge" like:

  • folklore
  • myths
  • urban legends
  • historical events

Or when you are using facts that are generally accepted, like:

  • pollution is bad for the environment (generally accepted fact)
  • writing is a process(generally accepted fact within academic discipline of English)