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Getting Started with Research at Shapiro Library

This guide discusses understanding information sources, formulating a topic and search phrase, where and how to search the library for information, how to evaluate sources, how to cite sources, and more.

Why Cite Your Sources & Avoiding Plagiarism

Why do we Cite Sources?

It's not required to annoy you, we promise!  Citations are a critical component of proper academic work.  Why?

  • Proper citations give your paper credibility and authority. Show off all that hard work you did!
  • Documenting sources shows an understanding and respect for scholarly communications.  Give credit where credit is due.
  • Citations help readers identify and locate your sources.

Use the navigation bar to the left to find information on APA style, MLA style, citation management tools, and more.

More Information on Citing Sources

What is Plagiarism?

As defined by Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, to plagiarize is:

"to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source : to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source."
Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarize 

All of the following are considered plagiarism:

  • turning in someone else's work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)

What DON'T you need to cite?

  • Common knowledge (e.g., the sun rises in the east and sets in the west).
  • Your own opinions or experiences.

Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism.

More Information on Citing Sources

Academic Honesty at SNHU

Southern New Hampshire University requires all students to adhere to high standards of academic integrity, as defined in SNHU Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs.   All catalogs explicitly state that plagiarism and cheating are not tolerated by the University, and students involved in such activities are subject to disciplinary action. 

Specifically, plagiarism is defined as: "the use, whether by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another without full and clear acknowledgment". 

Cheating is outlined as follows: "the giving or receiving of unauthorized assistance on quizzes, examinations or written assignments from any source not approved by the instructor."  One example of cheating is:

Using someone else’s work without proper citation.

Plagiarism and cheating are serious academic offenses that can be easily avoided with a proper understanding citation guidelines.  This guide will direct you to several resources that will help you create proper citations for all your work.

More Information on Citing Sources

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