Will citations prevent me from plagiarizing?




Not always. If you re-use someone else’s paper or paragraph that happens to have citations in it, you are still plagiarizing because you did not write it.  


It is also possible to cite your sources properly and still plagiarize.


You can plagiarize by re-using a paragraph or a sentence even if you include quotation marks and a citation.  


When including sources, think about what is the most important part to quote from the original and try to limit how much you include to the most important portion and cite it properly.  If you include too much from the original source and not enough of your work, it borders on plagiarism even if cited.


You can also plagiarize when rewriting something in your own words.  So if you take a sentence from a source and change a few words or completely rewrite it in your own words and do not include a citation for that source, you have plagiarized even if it is not a word for word reproduction of the original.  


You can also plagiarize even when you include citations.  When paraphrasing or summarizing a source in your own words, it’s important to do so properly.  See the Writing Center’s Handout on Paraphrasing for help.

If you need further help determining if you have plagiarized or incorporated a source properly, contact the Writing Center for help.

If you need further help, contact a librarian.




  • Last Updated Sep 03, 2020
  • Views 1588
  • Answered By Emily Doyle

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