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Citing Sources Guide

Introduction to Citation

What is Citation?

In a research paper, citation is when you give credit to authors whose ideas you have used to support your own work. Citations let your readers know that you used others' ideas to back up your own ideas and conclusions. Citations not only let your readers know that an idea is not your own, but also point them to the original resource where you found the idea so that they can explore it for themselves.

Why Cite Others' Work?

Just as you wouldn't want someone to take your personal property without asking, you wouldn't want someone to take your intellectual property either. Citation allows you to use someone else's intellectual property, or ideas, but gives the original creator the credit that they deserve.


Plagiarism is using another person's work and trying to pass it off as your own, or using someone else's information without giving them credit.

At STCC, plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty and it is taken very seriously. The following forms of academic dishonesty are considered plagiarism and are prohibited at STCC:

  • Making a direct copy of another's work without appropriate citation. This includes books, articles, the work of other students, and information from the World Wide Web.
  • Paraphrasing the work of another so that the essential meaning and/or progression of ideas are maintained in spite of minor changes.
  • Resubmitting one's own work as new, following previous submission for credit in another class or other context.
  • Presenting work as one's own that was produced in conjunction with others, such as another student or a tutor, without including appropriate citation.
  • Closely imitating, without citation, the creative work of another in a creative work of artistic merit.

The consequences of plagiarism at STCC include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, and dismissal from the college.

For more information about plagiarism, please visit our plagiarism page.