Note on your professors
WARNING: This web guide gives general instructions and examples based on the official MLA and APA manuals. Sometimes a professor will ask you to do something different. Your professor's instructions always take precedent over this LibGuide. Always follow your professor's directions first.
Definition and SPSCC's statement on plagiarism
Welcome students. This is a guide to help you learn how to cite sources and avoid plagiarism.
Plagiarism is when a person uses someone else’s words or ideas without citing the source and presents them as his or her own, either knowingly or “accidentally,” that person has stolen someone’s intellectual property. Writers sometimes purposely steal others’ work, and other times writers unintentionally plagiarize because they get confused, have poor notes, are lazy or intellectually unprepared, run out of time, or simply don’t know how to correctly reference sources.
What to cite and not cite
What to cite
· Any words or ideas that you read that are not common knowledge.
· Any new information you gain through conversations or interviews.
· Any diagrams, illustrations, charts, pictures, or other visual material you use that was created by anyone other than yourself.
What not to cite
· Your own life experiences, observations, and insights.
· Your own results from labs, personal studies, or field experience.
· Your own artwork, digital photographs, video or audio.
· Common knowledge, such as “July 4 is Independence Day in the United States.”