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Citing is different from but related to plagiarism. When you use other people’s words or ideas you need to credit them, and so you “cite” them. By including that citation you will avoid the charge of plagiarism.
Unfortunately, you cannot just cite your sources in a haphazard or idiosyncratic way. There are rules you have to follow. The manuals, or “rule books” are called Citation, or Style Guides. The Style Guide will give you explicit directions on format, capitalization, punctuation, spacing, etc. You need to provide both in-text citations and references/bibliographies list in the end of your paper according to the citation style required or of your choice.
There are several main Citation Style Guides used in the academic world. Here are some links to citation style guides.
EndNote Basic is a software program that helps you to collect all the references that you use for your research papers.
For directions on how to register for your own free account, how to create groups, how to produce bibliographies according to your preferred style, etc. go to the EndNote Library Guide.
With all your resources collected in one place it is easy to produce a Bibliography that is correctly formatted.
Plagiarism is pretense. It is taking someone else's work and pretending it is your own. Plagiarism is wrong, and it's a serious offense. See the University’s Student Handbook for a reminder of what plagiarism is and what its unhappy outcomes can be.
Here is a presentation by Bill Badke, a librarian at Trinity Western University, on Plagiarism: How to get it out of your life.
If you discover the line "the whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts" you can use it. You just can't pretend it's your line. You have to give Bertrand Russell credit for saying it. Almost all plagiarism can be avoided by crediting your sources. In academic life, as in all of life, making a habit of giving credit to others is a wise and good policy.
Princeton University has a helpful page that illustrates the proper use of sources in your research papers.
Goucher College has a short "Risk Quiz" that you can take to help you identify plagiarism - separate quizzes are in each of these disciplines: literature, science, social science, economics, and history.
Get free in-person or online writing help at TWU.
Get free online writing help from a tutor at a British Columbia post-secondary institution. Note that WriteAway is intended for undergraduate students. Graduate student should make an appointment with TWU's Writing Centre.