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Citing Sources

Using NoodleToolsAPA StyleMLA Style

Why do we cite sources?

There are many important reasons to cite your sources:​

  1. It gives credit to other researchers and acknowledges the ideas of others.
  2. It is a way to show you've done your research and add credibility to your argument.
  3. It shows you respect the rules and practices of the academic community, and it helps to avoid plagiarism.
  4. It provides a trail of your research and allows others to check your facts. 
  5. It is a way to demonstrate that you've constructed your own knowledge of a topic through research. 

What do we need to cite?

You need to cite:​

  • any information (facts, statistics, ideas, etc.) that is not common knowledge. 
  • another person's exact words (direct quotes).
  • paraphrases of information (including ideas) found in a source. 

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of the words or ideas of another. Plagiarism happens when we take information from a source and don't give proper credit. When we plagiarize, we are misrepresenting our knowledge by making it look as if the words and ideas we have taken are our own. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite our sources.