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Citing Sources

Why do we cite?

When you include someone else’s ideas in a paper or project, you must document or cite the sources of the ideas. If you have learned anything new and include it in your paper, you give credit to whoever provided the new information. This is the beginning of scholarly communication and engaging with others' research and ideas.

According to HACC's SGP 506 Academic Dishonesty the definition of plagiarism is "the offering of someone else’s work, words, or idea as one’s own or using material from another source without acknowledgement." Your instructor placed a statement about "Academic Dishonesty" in their syllabus that outlines the consequences of academic dishonesty such as plagiarism, cheating, or interference. 

Most students do not intentionally plagiarize and this Citing Sources Guide will provide guidance to successfully craft original assignments. 

How do I know if I need to cite something?

Types of Plagiarism


A word-for-word copy of someone else's work, without attribution and quotation marks, is deliberate plagiarism. 


If you have already submitted something you've written for an assignment for any other class, using that same text without instructor permission and proper citations is plagiarism.


Taking bits and pieces from a variety of sources, putting them together, and presenting them as your original work is plagiarism. You need to cite your sources.


Sometimes you forget. Sometimes you don't realize you paraphrased. Accidents happen, but it's still plagiarism. Keep careful track of your sources!