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GU-Q: How to Cite

Use this guide to find out how you can easily collect and manage citation information

Why Cite?

Citing is an important feature of academic writing. We cite to:

  • avoid plagiarism by givining credit to and acknowledging other people when you have used their work (it can be a text, an idea, a photo etc.)
  • help others locate the sources of information we used
  • demonstrate our research process
  • provide support or evidence for our argument

Plagiarism - And How to Avoid It

In academic writing honesty is very important. Citing your sources helps you avoid plagiarism. But what is plagiarism?

The act of intentionally or unintentionally using another's words or ideas without proper attribution (Plagiarism, 2009)

In other words, plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty and cheating. It happens when you use another's words, ideas, data etc, and fail to acknowledge this properly

There are various types of plagiarism. Some of them are:

  • direct copying: when you copy - paste a chunk of text but not surround it with quotes and/or acknowledge the source
  • appropriating ideas: when you present an idea you found in another creator's work as your own
  • patch writing: when you string together sentences you lifted from texts and you don't use quotes around them

Source: Plagiarism. (2009). In L. E. Sullivan (Ed.), The SAGE glossary of the social and behavioral sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Retrieved from