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Literature Review: Citation Styles & Plagiarism

Learning to Write a Systematic Review of Literature

Citation Styles

What is a citation?

citation is a reference to a source used in your research. It is how you give credit to the author for their creative and intellectual works that you referenced as support for your research.  Generally, citations should include author’s name, date, publisher information, journal information and/or DOI (Digital Object Identifier).

What are citation styles?

Citation styles are the formal way that citation information is formatted. It dictates what information is included, how it is ordered as well as punctuation and other formatting. There are many different styles and each mandate order of appearance of information (such as publication date, title, and page numbers following the author name etc), conventions of punctuation, use of italics (and underlining for emphasis) that are particular to their style.

How do I choose a citation style?

There are many different ways of citing resources from your research. The citation style sometimes depends on the academic discipline involved and sometimes depends on the publisher/ place of publishing. For example:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) is used by Education, Psychology, and some Sciences
  • ACS (American Chemical Society) is often used in Chemistry and some of the physical sciences
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) style is used by the Humanities
  • Chicago & Turabian (two styles very similar in formatting) are generally used by Business, History, and the Fine Arts

REMEMBER: Ultimately your professor will decide which citation style will be used, remember to consult with your professor to determine what is required in your assignment.

Plagiarism

According to Dictionary.com Plagiarism is the act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's words as one's own as by not crediting the original author.

Plagiarism is using someone else’s words as your own. There are several ways that you can be guilty of plagiarizing, but they all involve citing your sources improperly or failing to cite at all. Also considered plagiarizing is copying and pasting other people’s words as your own, buying a paper from a paper mill or even using a paper from a different class as original work. Someone worked hard to create that information it is only fair to cite them and give them credit for their ideas. 

The Library has created a Plagiarism Prevention LibGuide that can help you to avoid accidental plagiarism mistakes.  Remember you could be expelled or suspended if found guilty of plagiarism.

Many ways to Plagiarize

All of the following are considered plagiarism:

  • Turning in someone’s work as your own.
  • Failing to put quotation in quotation marks.
  • Copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit.
  • Giving incorrect information about the source of the quotation.
  • Changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit.
  • Using a previous assignment or essay as a new assignment