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MVNU Writing Guide: When (& How) to Cite


According to, all of the following are considered plagiarism:

  • "turning in someone else's work as your own
  • copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
  • failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
  • changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
  • copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)"

By including a reference to and placing the borrowed content in quotations, this text box is not plagiarising the source material. However, academic papers have stricter rules for preventing plagiarism which are called citation styles. The other sections of the Citation Guide detail the requirements of the main citation styles. The infographic below provides information about the different ways you can utilize someone else's information.

Cite as a Quotation

Direct quotations are short, word-for-word excerpts from the original source. Direct quotations MUST be cited and you are required to include the page number (or numbers) of the quote's location in the in-text citation.



Cite as a Paraphrase

Paraphrases take information from the original source and put it into your own words. If the source is not common knowledge, then paraphrases MUST still be cited. Usually, paraphrases are slightly condensed compared to the original source.


Cite as a Summary

Summaries take overarching themes (such as an experiment's methodology or an essay's main ideas) from the original source and puts it into your own words. If the material is not common knowledge, then summaries MUST still be cited. Summaries are very condensed compared to the original source.