If you quote, summarize or paraphrase from one of your sources, you need to give credit. Giving credit to others is part of your “academic integrity.” If you don’t, you could be charged with plagiarism.

According to the Ryerson University Code of Academic Conduct , plagiarism means claiming the words, ideas, artistry, drawings, images or data of another person as if they were your own.

Citing sources has benefits! It allows your reader and professor to see how you used supporting evidence to write your paper. Your professor/reader will be interested in what sources you used, how you interpreted them and how you used them.

When you cite you are engaging in a conversation with your sources by either supporting or disagreeing with their point-of-view. Your paper is meant to add to the debate or conversation started by experts in your topic’s field. Therefore, your paper should be a balance of citations from the experts and your own voice.

Watch this video for more information on Citation and the Academic writing from the University of North Carolina Writing Center (Closed Captioned).

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Why we Cite?

  • To attribute words and ideas to their original source – simply giving credit where credit is due.
  • To provide your readers with a kind of “map”of what you have been reading – to help your readers understand what has influenced your thinking.
  • To add weight and credibility to your paper –to demonstrate that you are engaged in the relevant research material
  • To provide an easy way for your readers to get access to the source material.
  • To situate yourself in an academic community with shared conventions.
  • To avoid plagiarism.

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How to avoid Plagiarism

1. Be aware of the purpose of citation and be diligent at all times about the requirement to cite your sources

2. Learn the conventions of the citation style required by your professor,

3. Double check with others that you have done things correctly before submitting your work – talk to your professors and book an appointment at Writing Support.