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International Student Library Guide: Citations & Plagiarism

An Introduction to the Kraemer Family Library for International & ESL Students

Plagiarism Terms & Definitions

Bibliography: A list containing citations to the resources used in writing a research paper or other document. Also called a reference list

Citation: A reference to a book, magazine or journal article, or other work containing all the information necessary to identify and locate that work. A citation to a book includes its author's name, title, publisher and place of publication, and date of publication.

Citation management tool: a tool to help organize citations for sources used in academic papers.

Paraphrasing: Putting an author’s writing in your own words while keeping the original meaning.

Plagiarism: Using the words or ideas of others without acknowledging (citing) the original source.

Quote/Quoting: Using the exact words of an author.

Self-Plagiarism: The use of an essay or report for one course to satisfy the requirements of another course. A student must receive the instructor’s approval to use a previously completed assignment.

Style manual: An information source providing guidelines for people who are writing research papers. A style manual outlines specific formats for arranging research papers and citing the sources that are used in writing the paper.

Summary/Summarizing: Brief explanation of a longer text, using your own words. 

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use of another author's words, theories, or ideas without giving proper credit.

avoid plagiarism

The best practice to avoid plagiarism is to give credit where credit is due by citing all sources you use in your research paper or essay. Here is a brief list of guidelines for when information must be cited:

  • When you use exact words or a specific phrase taken from an original source like a book, journal article, or magazine article (direct quote).
  • When you rephrase an author’s ideas or information in your own words (paraphrase or summary).
  • When you re-use tables, images, audio or videos from an original source.
  • When you use information from an interview or formal conversation with an individual.

Always take a few minutes when you proofread your papers to check for common mistakes that can lead to plagiarism. Here’s a short checklist:

checkDoes every direct quotation have a source citation?

checkDoes every paraphrase or summary have a source citation?

checkDoes every image, table, or other visual materials have a source citation?

checkDoes your list of works cited include all the sources used in your paper?

Tips & Tricks

Citation Guides

There are several common citation styles used in American universities. Always ask your instructor which citation style they prefer you to use for your assignments. Listed here are the three most common citation styles: MLA, APA & Chicago. Click on the different tabs for more information about the specific style.

The Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style is used most often in the liberal arts and humanities. Use the following sources to properly format your citations using MLA style.

APA style is the offical citaiton format for the The American Psychological Association but is used by most of the social sciences. Use the following sources to properly format your citations in APA style.

The Chicago Manual of Style is most often used in the humanities. Chicago style offers various ways to format citations and commonly uses footnotes or endnotes which allows authors to comment on the cited sources.  Use the following resources to successfully format citations in the Chicago style.


UCCS students and faculty have access to RefWorks. You can set up an account with your UCCS email address.

The guide linked below describes how to use RefWorks in more detail: