Plagiarism is the unacknowledged and inappropriate use of the ideas or wording of another writer. Because plagiarism corrupts values in which the university community is fundamentally committed – the pursuit of knowledge, intellectual honesty – plagiarism is considered a grave violation of academic integrity and the sanctions against it are correspondingly severe. Plagiarism can be characterized as "academic theft."
The bottom line is that it is better safe than sorry. If you using someone else's idea, give them credit.
Here are some links that will give you more information about plagiarism and what you can do to avoid it:
The Student Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism by Sandra Rhoten, Associate Dean,
The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2010) is the authority used by writers in the social sciences and some natural sciences.
Citing references properly using APA is always a challenge. But have no fear! The kind folks at Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL) have created an excellent APA guide. The OWL can answer almost any APA question.
For the official guide, vist the APA Style Tips and the APA Electronic References, which provide a few official examples from the APA. Neither is comprehensive; the print Publication Manual is the only authoritative source of citation rules. Check with the Reference Desk for more information on the official manual.
The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 8th ed. (2016), is the authority used by writers in many disciplines in the humanities. Copies are kept at the Reference Desk for in-library use.
Unofficial: CSUF MLA Citation Style (PDF) provides a two-page overview of some of the most common citation needs for both the in-text parenthetical documentation and the reference list.
Official: Frequently Asked Questions about MLA Style. The print MLA Handbook is the only authoritative source of citation rules. Copies are kept at the Reference Desk for in-library use.
Also Available Online:
OWL (Online Writing Lab) at Purdue University. Purdue University's OWL is an excellent source to use for any citation style, inlcuding MLA.
7th edition: For those still using the 7th edition of the MLA manual, please use this handout.
A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers by Kate Turabian 7th ed. This Chicago stylebook is written for undergraduates. (REF DESK LB2369 T8 2007).
The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed., the authority used by writers in many disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Copies are available at the Reference Desk for in-library use (REF DESK Z253 .U69 2003).
Chicago has provided New Questions and Answers, However, the print Chicago Manual of Style is the only authoritative source of citation rules. Copies are kept at the Reference Desk for in-library use.