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Research in Psychology: Citations

Plagiarism and Citations

What is plagiarism? Many know the classic definition, that it's using someone else's work without citing the source. Plagiarism can also include:

  • Re-arranging an author's work (paraphrasing) and using it without a citation
  • Using someone else's ideas without citing the source
  • Using a photograph or image and not including a citation

Properly citing your sources will prevent you from being accused of plagiarism. This page will help you understand when to cite and how to cite.


Avoiding Plagiarism- see outline below image

Outline of flowchart

Title: "Avoiding Plagiarism"

Top of chart begins Q: "Are these my own words?"

  1. If "Yes", then Q: "Is this my own idea?"
    1. If "Yes", then "No need to cite?"
    2. If "No", then "This is paraphrasing", then "Cite it!"
  2. If "No", then Q: "Am I using quotation marks?"
    1. If "Yes", then "Cite it!"
    2. If "No", then "Add quotation marks", then "Cite it!"


Citing your sources is an important part of the research and academic writing process. It's important to give credit to other people's work. The best way to make sure you're citing properly is to use a citation guide.  

  1. Not sure if it needs to be cited? When in doubt, be safe and cite your source!

  2. When citing an article in APA, make sure you include: author(s), year of publication, title of article, title of periodical, volume number, issue number, page numbers, and DOI. 

  3. Don't forget about the in text citation! Every time you reference someone else's work, you need to include an in-text citation and a full citation in the reference list. 

  4. You don't need to cite information that is common knowledge. For example, if you say "the sky is blue" in a paper, you don't need to include a citation. But make sure you're certain it's common knowledge first! 

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