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Plagiarism: To cite or not to cite

Why should I care?

Why should I care about plagiarism?

Academic integrity is necessary to the education process and crucial in developing your own sense of creative expression. Without honesty, your academic and studio endeavors are undermined. If you repeatedly “borrow” thoughts and ideas from others, you could harm your own creative process.

Think about it like this—by not plagiarizing, you are preserving and protecting your creative self and your sense of originality.

On a more practical level, students found guilty of plagiarism may be subject to the disciplinary actions outlined in the CIA student handbook.  

When is a citation needed?

When should I cite?

Don’t be a “kidnapper”! Any information included in a paper that did not originate in your own head should be cited. There is one exception—common knowledge.

Common knowledge is information that is known by a lot of people, can be found in a lot of places and isn’t cited in those sources.An example of common knowledge is that George Washington was the first President of the United States. This could be included in a paper without a citation. Certain phrases can also be considered common knowledge. You could state that oil and water don’t mix, or that there is more than one way to skin a cat, without citing a source. If you are not sure if you should cite a source, then cite the source. It’s better to be safe than sorry!                                                                                                    

How do I cite?

There are several different methods and styles of citations. Your professor will usually indicate which style you are required to use. It’s always a good idea to refer to the specific style guide for the particulars.

Check out the Citing Sources LibGuide for information about MLA and Chicago styles.

Citation help