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How to Do Research

Any source of intellectual property that serves to inform, inspire, or contribute to your own work product needs to be acknowledged. Whose expression, idea(s), research, conclusions, or creative content is it? When it isn't yours, you need to cite your source.

Borrowing someone's ideas by paraphrasing them, or someone's exact words by quoting them, requires a reference to the source. All of the following need to be documented when they are the product of someone else's intellectual property:

Any information source - whatever the format or the medium - must be cited if it is the origin of your ideas, images, or words. Here are some examples of the kinds of information sources that should be cited if they are the source of your words, ideas, or images:

Books or parts of books
Web pages
TV or radio broadcasts

Encyclopedia articles
Email messages
Journal, magazine, or newspaper articles
Electronic mailing list or newsgroup postings

Electronic full-text articles

Films or videos


It is not necessary to document common knowledge, such as a well-known quote or a familiar proverb, or a universal fact. However, if you only believe it to be common, document it. Believing is not a defense against the charge of plagiarism. When in doubt, cite! (Not so Common Knowledge)

Unit 6: Citing Sources: 2 of 7

Why Cite Information Sources? | What Needs to Be Cited? | In-Text Citations | How to Cite | Plagarism: What Is It? | Style Manuals | Copyright & Fair Use | Quick References |

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Last updated: Friday, 02-Jul-2004 15:00:52 EDT

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