Image of stacks, tables, chairs, and windows at Fulton Library.

When Do You Cite?

I need to document my sources in different cases:
  • When I quote someone's exact words
  • When I paraphrase someone's ideas
  • When I use any idea, theory, data, or method from a source I consulted

If I use information from any of these examples without citing it, I am plagiarizing. If I get caught plagiarizing in class, my professor can do a number of things, from deducting points to failing me in the class. Plagiarism is serious!

On the other hand, I don't have to cite information that most people know or that is common knowledge. For example, I would not need to create a citation if I said that that Utah Valley University is in Orem, Utah or that President Holland was the University President.

If I'm not sure if information is common knowledge, I ask my professor. When in doubt, cite.
 
 
Utah Valley University Library | Ask a Librarian: 801.863.8840