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Citation and Style Guides: Avoiding Plagiarism

Some of the most frequently used citation formats are APA, Chicago, and MLA styles.


When you compose a research paper, you are likely to rely upon many information sources to help you develop the ideas that will form the basis of your argument. Whether you use books, journal articles, web sites or other media to gather background information on your topic, you should keep track of your sources for your bibliography and/or footnotes. Crediting the sources you consulted while writing your paper helps to show where your ideas originated, and helps you to avoid claims of plagiarism. Listing your sources also allows your reader to understand what kinds of resources you used, and to refer back to those sources for further information.