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Research Process: Citation & Plagiarism

This tutorial aims to help develop effective library research skills and critical thinking skills in all courses at Prince George's Community College.

Citation and Plagiarism

The primary purpose for citing sources in a paper is to inform readers where you found information for the paper or document you wrote. With cited sources, it gives an indication of what items you have read, heard, or viewed that led you to the viewpoints that you present. Sources of information are cited for the following reasons:

  • To show the work that you did locating information and giving credibility to the document that you wrote or produced.
  • To inform the reader exactly where the information was found so that the original items can be found in their entirety
  • To give credit to the authors that wrote and/or produced the materials you used to write your paper. By acknowledging other author's words and ideas instead of using them as your own, prevents plagiarism

Using Style Manuals

There are several commonly used styles for citing sources. These style manuals include:

The two style guides most frequently used at Prince George's Community College are the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Paper (MLA) and Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA).