When Do We Give Credit?
The key to avoiding plagiarism is to make sure you give credit where it is due. This may be credit for something somebody said, wrote, emailed, drew, or implied. Many professional organizations, including the Modern Language Association and the American Psychological Association, have lengthy guidelines for citing sources. However, students are often so busy trying to learn the rules of MLA format and style or APA format and style that they sometimes forget exactly what needs to be credited. Here, then, is a brief list of what needs to be credited
; Words or ideas presented in a magazine, book, newspaper, song, TV program, movie,
Web page, computer program, letter, advertisement, or any other medium
; Information you gain through interviewing or conversing with another person, face to
face, over the phone, or in writing
; When you copy the exact words or a unique phrase
; When you reprint any diagrams, illustrations, charts, pictures, or other visual materials
; When you reuse or repost any electronically-available media, including images, audio,
video, or other media
Bottom line, document any words, ideas, or other productions that originate somewhere outside of you.
There are, of course, certain things that do not need documentation or credit, including:
; Writing your own lived experiences, your own observations and insights, your own
thoughts, and your own conclusions about a subject
; When you are writing up your own results obtained through lab or field experiments
; When you use your own artwork, digital photographs, video, audio, etc.
; When you are using "common knowledge," things like folklore, common sense
observations, myths, urban legends, and historical events (but not historical documents)
; When you are using generally-accepted facts, e.g., pollution is bad for the environment,
including facts that are accepted within particular discourse communities, e.g., in the field
of composition studies, "writing is a process" is a generally-accepted fact. How Do We Give Credit?
There are several ways to make reference to the source you’re using in the text: footnotes, end notes, a works cited or bibliography page, and parenthetical citations. For this course, we will mostly use quotations and parenthetical citations. Every time you cite a source, you need to make clear 1) the author (individual or corporate) and 2) the page number. In your final “Works Cited” section, you will provide the full bibliographic information about the source (examples below).
Paraphrase, using the author’s name in the sentence:
Gene Menez points out that, even before the 1966 NCAA championship game, other
teams like Cincinnati had started black players (20).
Paraphrase, without the author’s name.
Glory Road takes some dramatic license with its facts: in 1966, Coach Haskins was in his
fifth year, not his first; the UTEP Miners were not the first team to start multiple black
players: four started for Cincinnati in the 1962 title game (Menez, 20).
Movies like Glory Road rewrite American history as inclusive and socially responsible,
but only through personal subordination to hard-line coaches and discipline (Brooks).
Direct quotation, with the author’s name:
So do the film’s tweaks of the historical record undermine its effectiveness as a vehicle
for social justice? Perhaps Glory Road succeeded when “hundreds of thousands of people
sat in theaters and saw the larger truth,” according to George Menez (20).
Direct quotation, without the author’s name:
Although Glory Road suggests that America was fascinated with the 1966 title game, at
the time, it’s racial significance was “the elephant in the room” that neither players nor
the press seemed to notice (Menez, 20).
Using Works Cited entries at the end of your paper
For a book: author, title, title of collection (if necessary), place of publication, publisher, year published, and page number/s
Gerdy, John. Sports: The All-American Addiction. Oxford: University of Mississippi
For a journal or magazine article: author, title of article, title of magazine, volume, number, date, and page number/s.
Menez, Gene. “A Night to Remember.” Sports Illustrated 104.3 (Jan 23, 2006): 20.
For a newspaper article: author, title of article, title of newspaper, date, edition, page number/s.
Brooks, David. “Remaking the Epic of America.” New York Times Feb 5, 2006, late