Citing your sources is:
Imagine research as a conversation -- scholars are trading ideas back and forth and building on the findings of earlier work. Citing your sources is an important part of contributing to this conversation -- it allows readers to understand how your work fits into the overall conversation.
Citing your sources in a standard style also helps readers tell at a glance what type of source you used (book vs. journal article, etc), and it helps readers find and reference the sources you used.
What is Plagiarism?
The DU Honor Code defines plagiarism as "including any representation of another's work or ideas as one's own in academic and educational submissions."
At DU, plagiarism is seen as a form of academic misconduct and can result in severe consequences. These explanations of the most common types of plagiarism from Bowdoin College can help you learn to detect plagiarism in your own and other's work.
To avoid plagiarism, cite sources when:
Note: You do not need to cite generally accepted knowledge. For more information, see Not-So-Common Knowledge.
A general rule of thumb is: "When in doubt, cite it."
What is Plagiarism Detection Software?
DU uses a plagiarism detection software called VeriCite. When a student turns in a paper through Canvas, VeriCite checks the internet and many databases to see if anything has been copied from another person’s work.
To cite a source properly, you need to follow the rules of a particular citation style.
There are many styles, and reformatting citations can take a long time -- so ask your professor about what citation style to use before you start writing your paper.
Common Citation Styles:
Want to use a program that not only creates your bibliography automatically, but can also store and organize citations and PDFs?
Just need to format a few citations right now? Try these quick tools:
Whichever program you choose, remember to proofread the citations it generates for you!
If you understand the general anatomy of a citation, it's easier to create your own citations -- plus, you can tell at a glance what kind of source was cited. Here's the anatomy of two sources formatted in the CSE (Council of Science Editors) style:
An article citation:
A book citation: