Citing Sources

Writing Center Style Guides


Includes, but is not limited to:

  • Omitting quotation marks or other conventional markings around material quoted from any printed source.
  • Paraphrasing a specific passage from a specific source without properly referencing the source
  • Replicating another student's work or parts thereof and submitting it as an original

Sources to Cite

  • Direct quotes, paraphrasing, or summarizing
  • Ideas, or references to ideas, that you obtained from somewhere else
  • Internet sources that give you useful background information

Sources not to Cite

  • Primary research that you conduct
  • Ideas that emerge from—but are significantly different than—what is discussed in class, on the discussion board, etc.
  • References to a fact that is common knowledge (i.e., most everyone knows it)

Citing for Theses/Dissertations

Students writing a thesis/dissertation should be extremely conscientious in their use of sources, since the work will be publicly accessible upon completion. The burden for adhering to copyright law and fair use falls almost entirely on the student. If you use non-text media, such as photos, images, graphs, or diagrams, you must obtain permission unless the source specifically gives you permission.

Each graduate program has unique requirements with regard to format and citation style. Consult the graduate handbook for your program. Additionally, you are required to submit an electronic copy of your final thesis/dissertation to the Library.

Content adapted from “Academic Honesty, Academic Dishonesty, and Plagiarism: What Liberty University Says About It.” Presentation by Emily Heady, University Writing Program.