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Citation and Plagiarism: Citation: A Positive Approach

Focuses on Citation rather than Plagiarism: the positive rather than the negative

General Note

The material in the tab "Tutorials, Tests, Videos, and a link to Copyright at CSUEB"  focuses on APA and MLA citation, which are the most commonly used citation formats at our university.  For other formats, please see separate tabs.  If there is a need for coverage of additional formats, please let me know and I'll add a new tab for that format.

If you have difficulty figuring out which citation format to use, please consult this handy guide from the American University in Washington, DC.

A Positive Approach to Citation

The best approach to the yin/yang of citation/plagiarism is to take the positive approach and focus on citation.  If you understand the purpose of citaton, its role in academic discourse, and its value to readers and creators, you'll understand how to refer to your sources, rather than being scared of plagiarism. If you are an international student and find it difficult to understand the role of citation in U. S. culture, you can get help in the SCAA (Student Center for Academic Achievement) or at the reference desk. Both are in the library. 

You can use tutorials to learn some basics about citation formats (see separate tab).  For full information, consult the official style manuals at the reference desk or those that are only online.


Getting a Jump Start on Citations

You don't have to create all your citations from scratch.  You can use some of the these sources:

Library Databases:  Most of our databases offer a "cite" option that gives you a "start" on your citation.  Once you search, click on the item in your results list to reach the full record for that item, then look for "cite" or "cite/export" or an option to "email" the record to yourself.  Clicking on any one of those options will allow you to choose the citation format you want.  Two caveats:

  • Be careful to review the citation to make sure the bibliographic information is both accurate and complete.
  • If you are citing information from online sources, be sure to add the extra "access" information the citation calls for, e.g., type of resource, URL, date of access.