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Why Give Credit?

You need to give credit to sources for several reasons:

  • To let your readers know how your views "agree with, disagree with, or modify the views of published experts in the field."
  • By citing your sources, you are providing your reader with additional information--such as books, articles, and websites--on the topic you are writing about.
  • "By listing the author of a quotation and providing a page number, you're telling the reader, 'If you don't believe that this person really wrote this, you can look it up for yourself.'"
  • "It's the honest thing to do."

Tips & Hints

Keep Track of Your Sources
As you search across Google, the library website, and other resources, save materials you plan to use. Either print them out or save them electronically.

Take Good Notes
Keep a list of all the sources (including page numbers or URLs) you gathered. Mark the section(s) of sources you will use.

Ask Your Professor
If you have a question about integrating sources into your paper, ask your professor.

Don't Procrastinate
Plan ahead! Do not wait until the last minute, as this will lead to sloppy work. Stay organized.

What DON'T You Need to Cite?

Common Knowledge

For example:

  • The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
  • The thirteen colonies formed the United States of America.
  • The capital of Wisconsin is Madison.

Your Own Opinions & Ideas


Further Resources

Consult these resources for more info on avoiding plagiarism, quoting, and paraphrasing: