Citing Library Sources

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism can be intentional and unintentional. According to Pickering (2008), plagiarism is failing to properly acknowledge an author's work in your paper, which means you are claiming their work as your own. Therefore, if you do not cite, then you may be subject to a charge of plagiarism per Chamberlain University's Academic Integrity Policy. You should review the section on plagiarism (pages 31-32) for further details on what qualifies as plagiarism within the university.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

  • When in doubt, cite!
  • Paraphrase but still cite.
  • Synthesize information to make it your own and prove your own mastery of the idea. 
  • Minimize use of direct quotes.
    • Direct quotes should only be used for emphasis and when an idea cannot be said in your own words. 
  • If it is common knowledge, do not cite. 
    • What is common knowledge? Can you call a family member who is not in your profession and they would know about your topic?
  • Always cite visuals even if you have created your own based off of outside information. 


Pickering, J. W. (2008). Plagiarism. In V. N. Parrillo (Ed.), Encyclopedia of social problems (1st ed.). Sage Publications.