How to Avoid Plagiarism
In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit when
- You use another person's ideas, opinions, or theories.
- You use facts, statistics, graphics, drawings, music, etc., or any other type of information that does not comprise common knowledge.
- You use quotations from another person's spoken or written word.
- You paraphrase another person's spoken or written word.
- Begin the writing process by stating your ideas; then go back to the author's original work.
- Use quotation marks and credit the source (author) when you copy exact wording.
- Use your own words (paraphrase) instead of copying directly when possible.
- Even when you paraphrase another author's writings, you must give credit to that author.
- If the form of citation and reference are not correct, the attribution to the original author is likely to be incomplete. Therefore, improper use of style can result in plagiarism. Get a style manual and use it.
- The figure below may help to guide your decisions.
This content is part of the Understanding Plagiarism tutorial created by the Indiana University School of Education.
Citing your sources
Our guide to Citing Your Sources tells how to establish your paper's credibility and avoid plagiarism, and provides links to detailed examples of MLA and other citation formats.
American Sociological Association style manual
Three citation management tools widely used at UC Berkeley are RefWorks, Endnote, and Zotero. Each organizes citations and produces quick and easy bibliographies in many citation styles, including APA 6th. Learn about other citation and writing tools on the EDP Library's Citation Management webpage.
RefWorks is free for UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff. From many of UC’s databases, importing citations is seamless and easy. Create correctly cited bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations. New users can sign up at RefWorks. Find tutorials and tips for using RefWorks on the EDP Library webpage.
Use the APA Publication Manual 6th edition in the EDP Library. See the APA Style tab above for more information.
Widely cited journals and articles.
ISI Web of Knowledge - Social science citation index provides a "Cited Reference Search" feature which can be searched by cited author, work or year. The ISI database provides "cited by" information on its search results page. ISI's Journal Citation Reports will find a current list of most highly cited journals. It should be noted, however, that ISI is evaluating a highly selective group of journal titles. For example, only 130 education titles, 36 special education titles, and 49 educational psychology titles, a relatively small selection given the large number of journals published in education. See the journal list at ISI WOS for specific titles.
Google Scholar also provides on their initial search results screen a “cited by” link with the total number of citations. Similarly, the CSA Illumina interface provides on their search results page, "cited by" links for more recent psychology articles.