Scope: This guide provides resources on how and why to cite sources in academic writing.
Why should I cite my sources?
Acknowledging or citing other people's words and ideas indicates that you have conducted thorough background research on your topic and are operating from an informed perspective, increasing your credibility. Other people's ideas can also be used to reinforce your arguments, or as points to argue against. Finally, ideas are intellectual property and there are serious repercussions for failing to follow citing conventions.
Where can I get help with citing?
Our online guides provide basic directions and examples for your most common citation needs, as well as information on where to go for more help.
MLA Style Guide
APA Style Guide
Bluebook Style Guide
Not sure which one to use? This guide to style manuals by subject discipline can help. When in doubt, always ask your professor!
The University of Maryland Libraries also offers workshops on EndNote Web, an online tool to help you manage your citations. These free workshops are open to current students, faculty, and staff.
This tutorial from Acadia University also provides helpful information on why you should cite, and what counts as plagiarism.
What is the Code of Academic Integrity?
The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, which is administered by the Student Honor Council and sets the standards for academic integrity for all members of our academic community.
Be familiar with the Honor Pledge, a statement you may be asked to write by hand and sign on examinations and assignments:
"I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this assignment/examination."
What are the penalties for plagiarism?
Failure to cite the work of others in the papers you write may result in severe consequences. The Code of Academic Integrity specifies four types of academic dishonesty:
- Plagiarism: "Intentionally or knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in an academic exercise."
- Cheating: "Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise."
- Fabrication: "Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise."
- Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: "Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty."
According to the Code of Academic Integrity, the normal sanction for undergraduate students is a grade of "XF" in the course, with the notation "failure due to academic dishonesty" on your official transcript. For graduate students, the normal sanction is dismissal from the university.
Where can I get help with research?
Librarians offer general and subject-specific research assistance in person as well as by phone, email, and chat. All you have to do is ask us!
Where can I get help with writing?
The Writing Center offers free one-on-one consultation for all stages of the composition process, as well as provides workshops and handouts. It is currently funded to work with undergraduates (and all UMUC students) only.
You can schedule an appointment online, by phone, or by visiting the Writing Center in person during business hours. The Writing Center also offers first come, first served appointments during their walk-in hours at Tawes Hall and McKeldin Library. See their current semester hours for details.
For quick questions, try the Grammar Hotline at 301-405-3785.