A very basic definition of plagiarism is to take someone else's work or ideas and pass them off as your own. Plagiarism can be intentional (like buying a paper from someone else or purposefully using another person’s ideas without giving them credit) or unintentional (accidentally forgetting that an idea in your notes isn’t your own and not citing it when you include it in a paper or project). It’s important to take detailed notes so you’ll always remember when and where to give credit to your sources!
By citing the sources you use for your research, you’ll be accomplishing three things:
You’ll avoid plagiarizing and give proper credit to your sources, thereby demonstrating academic integrity.
You’ll demonstrate the scope of your research and establish your credibility on your topic.
You’ll provide your reader with a trail to follow to locate the sources you used so they can read more about your topic.
The two most important parts of citing your sources are
1) To provide your reader with all of the information they need to find the source you're referencing; and
2) To be consistent in your formatting of citations in both your in-text citations and in bibliography entries, found at the end of your paper.
Use these tools and services to learn how to incorporate outside researchers' thoughts, concepts, words, and phrases into your own work:
Find citation templates and examples
Music therapy, music education, and other social science disciplines typically follow APA style for citations - find templates and examples for citing your sources in APA style through the following resources:
- The American Psychological Association's APA Style website: The "Style and Grammar Guidelines" tab links to many helpful resources, including information on paper format, how to set up tables and figures, how to format in-text citations and references, and more!
- The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) Guide to APA Style
Some things to know about citation managers and other formatting tools
Many databases (and even the Libraries catalog) include a “Cite This” button, but these automatic citation generators often make mistakes. Be sure to double-check the formatting of the citations they create using the examples in this guide!
If you’re using a citation manager like Zotero, EndNote, or Mendeley to keep track of your sources and create citations, double-check the formatting – these programs often make formatting mistakes when generating citations.
New to citation/reference management software and not sure how to get started? The Libraries offers free workshops to help you get started! Visit z.umn.edu/workshops and use the filter to limit to "Citation Managers" to see when they're happening and sign up: