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Citation Styles: Plagiarism & Copyright

This guide gives an overview of the most common Citation styles along with information on parts of sources and DOIs

Why is Plagiarism Important?

Plagiarism is essentially using someone else’s words as your own. There are many different types of plagiarism, but they all involve citing your sources improperly. Copying and pasting other people’s words as your own or buying a paper from a paper mill is wrong. Someone worked hard to write that paper and it’s only fair to cite them as the source when you use their ideas. 

You are under a lot of pressure as students. That’s why the Writing Center Staff and the Librarians are here to help you. If you plagiarize, you could be expelled or suspended. Please follow this guide to avoid embarrassment or worse.

Why is Copyright Important?

Even if you correctly cite according to the citation style manuals and give credit that the ideas were created by someone else you could be violating copyright.  If the expressions are fixed in a tangible medium (for example the pages of a book, video clip on a dvd, pages in a journal, or even a written speech) then the ideas are most likely protected by federal copyright laws.  Why would you take the ideas and thoughts of someone without permission? 

There are guidelines when borrowing intellectual property from others.  If a brief amount of the work (generally less than 10%) is used for an academic purpose (non profit accreditated educational institution like USC Upstate) for less than one semester (not to be used again for a second time) then it is likely okay to use the material if access is restricted (limited to your professor or classmates) under fair use guidelines.  To find out more about copyright visit