To avoid inadvertent plagiarism, follow these tips:

  1. Keep track of potentially useful sources as you find them
  2. Take notes as you research and investigate your topic
  3. Know how to cite your sources

Keep track of potentially useful sources as you find them

refworks logo

One method of keeping track of sources is to manage citations electronically. With RefWorks you can export citations from most databases and automatically format a bibliography in your citation style of choice. The Library offers a RefWorks help guide and workshops.

Another method is to use index cards. Enter a source's publication information on an index card. Format the entry in the citation style you will be using in your paper.


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Take notes as you research and investigate your topic

Indicate whether you are summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting and be sure to include a connection with your source. Use note card (a larger index card), and try to restrict content to one main idea.


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Know how to cite your sources

Your citations must be consistently formatted in a particular style. Citation and style guides links to online guides and support for style guides. Your choice of style depends on your area of research. Ask your instructor or your librarian for advice.

Some of the most widely-used style guides are:


Chicago Manual of Style book cover

Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Call number: Z253 .U5

A guide to publishing in any field, including architecture.

ACS Style Guide book cover

Coghill, Anne M., and Lorrin R. Garson. ACS Style Guide: Effective Communication of Scientific Information. 3rd ed.: Oxford: American Chemical Society; Oxford University Press, 2006.

Call number: QD8.5 .A25

Sciences, particularly chemistry.

MLA handbook for writers of Research papers book cover

Gibaldi, Joseph. Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003.

Call number: LB2369 .G53

Humanities, particularly language and literature.

Handbook for Writing in the Mathematical Sciences book cover

Higham, N. J. Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 1998.

Call number: QA42.H54

Mathematical sciences

AMA Manual of Style book cover

Iverson, Cheryl. AMA Manual of Style : A Guide for Authors and Editors. 10th ed. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Call number: R119 .A533


APA Style book cover

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association [APA]. 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010.

Call number: BF76.7.P83

APA Style Guide to Electronic References. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2007.

Call number: BF76.7.P83195

Social and behavioural sciences.

Scientific style and format book cover

Scientific style and format: the Council of Science Editors (CSE) manual for authors, editors, and publishers. 8th ed. Reston, Va.: Council of Science Editors, 2014.

Call number: T11 .S386

All areas of science and related fields.

Manual for writers of research papers, theses and dissertations book cover

Turabian, Kate L. Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations : Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. 8th ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Call number: LB2369 .T8

Chicago Style for students and researchers.

IEEE logo

Defines and explains unique IEEE Computer Society usages.

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Next: Seek permission from your instructor