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Give 'Em Credit


If You Don't Cite It, Then You've Stolen It

Now that you have completed the research process and are at the writing stage, you can appreciate how much work is involved -- so give credit where credit is due. In other words, create a bibliography and cite your sources. Even if you started on this journey to satisfy personal curiosity, be sure you refer to the source of your information when it comes up in casual conversation.

Style Manuals:

  • Nearly every discipline uses a specific style when writing a bibliography. This style dictates the elements and their order in a citation as well as the format of the bibliography. If you have a writing assignment, your instructor may specify which style manual to use. If not, there are subject specific guides in many disciplines:

    Humanities: MLA Style Manual Print resources available at OSU
    Social Sciences: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association Print resources available at OSU
    Biological Sciences: Council of Biological Editors Style Manual Print resources available at OSU
    General: Chicago Manual of Style Print resources available at OSU
    Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Kate Turabian Print resources available at OSU

  • Keep in mind, information from the Internet should be cited differently from print materials. Be sure the style manual you use has specific directions for citing electronic sources. Available to all free of charge If you are unsure which style manual you should use, look at the instructions for authors in a few of the major journals in the discipline. These generally specify a style manual authors should use for articles submitted for publication.

Failure to give credit for the source of information you've used in a paper is called PLAGIARISM. While plagiarism isn't illegal, it is unethical and getting caught can have dire consequences. It may cost you a grade, a job, or a promotion. It could result in a law suit depending upon how you use the information. Just as the Internet makes it easier to locate the information you need, it also makes it easier to check a document for plagiarism.

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URL: http://www.library.okstate.edu/infolit/step5.htm
Last Updated: 1 Sept 2009