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Basic Essay Citing Rules- Suggestions From A Professional

There are several reasons why you want to be very careful when you are using the ideas of others. Plagiarism which is when you use the ideas of another person without giving them credit, is very serious. If you are caught plagiarizing someone’s work, you can be expelled from school, face a huge fine, or ruin your reputation. You need to know how to properly cite your sources so that the person that originally wrote the piece will get credit for their information.

There are specific guidelines when it comes to citing sources. This is mainly so that the person who actually wrote the information will be able to receive credit for it. Here are some tips that you can use to make sure that you are saving yourself from plagiarizing someone’s work.

  1. If you are using a direct quote from another source, you have to cite it. If you are expressing in your paper information that you have found in another source that cannot be considered common knowledge, you should cite it.
  2. In-text citations need to be included when you are citing a direct quote or when you are paraphrasing a piece. It should include the author’s last name and year of publication. Depending on the formatting style that is being used, you may have to also add the page number.
  3. The full citation information should be presented at the end of the paper. If you are using the APA format, you would put these on a separate page called the reference page.
  4. There are many different formats and many different forms of sources. It is important to make sure that you present the citations in the right format according to the formatting guide that has to be used and the source that you are citing. For example, you will have to cite the same resource differently if you are using the APA format then if you are using the MLA format.
  5. Many resource libraries online will have a resource that shows the full citation information for many of the popular formats. You will just need to know how to do the in-text citations.

You need to give credit to others when you are using their information. This could be a graph that you use, a statement, or a picture as well. You wouldn’t want someone to pass your ideas off as their own, so don’t do it to anyone else.