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Art & Design: Citing Sources

Avoiding Plagiarism

In order to avoid plagiarism, we first need to understand what plagiarism is.  Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s ideas without giving the person credit.  Whether it is an idea, an image, spoken words, written words, sheet music, audio, video, a piece of artwork, or anything else that is expressing an idea, if it is not yours you need to say where it came from. 

When you are using someone else’s work exactly, whether copying from a writing they did into your own writing, or writing down what someone said to include in your own writing, you need to indicate that these words are not your own.  You do this by putting the words into quotation marks, similar to what you see in a book where it indicates that someone else is speaking.  After the quotation ends, you need to give credit to the person who is ‘speaking’ in your paper or speech.

When you are using someone else’s ideas, but not their exact words, you are paraphrasing.  Paraphrasing is using your own words to express the other person’s idea.  Even if you paraphrase, you still need to give credit for that person’s original ideas.  You do this by giving credit to the person who created the idea, but you do not need to use quotation marks.

How do you give credit in the text of your paper or project?  You use a parenthetical citation, as well as listing the full citation at the end of the page.  The parenthetical citation is the author’s last name and the page number where the idea(s) are found.  The full citation appears at the end of the work, in a Works Cited, References, or Bibliography list depending on the style used by your instructor. 

The best piece of advice is, when in doubt, cite. 



Taylor, Terry.  100% Information Literacy Success. United States: Thomson Delmar Learning, 2007.  Print.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Citing all sources all the time is the most effective way to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is copying, closely copying, or borrowing someone's language, thoughts, ideas, or other creative expressions without gving them credit for it. The consequences of plagiarism range from bad grades to college explusion to criminal prosecution. To avoid plagiarism always give credit to the source. Plagiarism can have severe consequences including academic explusion and criminal prosecution.