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SPE 101: Cite Your Sources

All the best resources for you to start your speech, all in one location.

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Cite Your Sources and Avoid Plagiarism

Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is taking credit for the work of another writer or artist. This includes finding pictures for powerpoints! Any time you fail to mention where you got an idea, a quote, a statistic, an image, etc, you might be plagiarizing.

Harper College does not tolerate plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. The Student Conduct Office has good suggestions to keep your work honest, as well as links to the consequences of academic dishonesty. The Student Handbook also lists the college's Academic Honesty Policy in the Policy Section.

Issues and Controversies, and excellent library resource, also has some great suggestions for Avoiding Plagiarism. Get the most out of your education by being the best author you can be.

General Knowledge - You do not have to give credit when using facts that are considered "General Knowledge." It can be hard to decide what is or is not "General Knowledge." If you are at all unsure, check with your instructor. Generally, statements of fact or dates are considered general knowledge. If all or most of your sources list a fact, you can count it as general knowledge.

Cite Your Sources

The easiest way to prevent plagiarism is to cite your sources. Many instructors require a bibliography or a works cited page as part of college-level writing. As you find sources, take the time to put them in your bibliography.

Bibliographies or works cited pages must follow specific rules. These rules make it easier for someone reading your paper to find the same sources you used. These rules are called citation styles. Two common citation styles are APA and MLA. Check your assignment or ask your instructor about which style to use.

  • The Purdue OWL is also a great free website that has examples and rules for citing in many different styles.

If you found an article online through our Find Articles section, often the site you found it on often includes correct citations.