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Cite sources

Content section: 

Citing your sources


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Citation management tools

Citation management software can help organize research results and make writing papers easier by creating properly formatted bibliographies and footnotes.

  • - Available without charge to current UC Berkeley faculty, students and staff who sign up for an account.
  • - Free download.
  • - Free software/web hybrid for managing citations PC, Mac, Linux
  • - Software for managing citations, discounted for UCB students.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, violating the . According to the Code:

"Plagiarism includes use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source."

Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic and student conduct rules and is punishable with a failing grade and possibly more severe action.

Why cite sources?

Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit.

Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you consulted, show the depth and scope of your research, and give credit to authors for their ideas. Citations provide evidence for your arguments and add credibility to your work by demonstrating that you have sought out and considered a variety of resources. In written academic work, citing sources is standard practice and shows that you are responding to this person, agreeing with that person, and adding something of your own. Think of documenting your sources as providing a trail for your reader to follow to see the research you performed and discover what led you to your original contribution.

By following these guidelines, you avoid plagiarism, which is a serious violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

How do you cite sources?

Citations within your text link specific passages to the sources you consulted or quoted. This can be done through in-text parenthetic notes, footnotes, or endnotes. In addition, a bibliography or list of works cited is almost always placed at the end of your paper. The citation system and format you use will be determined by the citation style you choose. Ask your instructor which style should be used, and if there are other special formatting instructions you should follow.

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