The English Department requires that students in all of its classes use Modern Language Association (MLA) style as the appropriate formatting and citation format. MLA style uses parenthetical citation for both direct quotations and paraphrased sources. The following links provide information on how to cite sources and format your papers in MLA style.
Some classes, especially those linked with the School of Education will also require students to use American Psychological Association (APA) style. The following links provide information on how to cite sources and format your papers in APA style.
Simply put, plagiarism is "the false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking the product of another person's mind, and presenting it as one's own" (Alexander Lindey, qtd. in MLA Handbook 66). According to the MLA Handbook, there are two kinds of plagiarism. The first is intellectual theft, which is achieved by "using another person's ideas, information, or expressions without acknowledging that person's work." The second is fraud, achieved by "passing off another person's ideas information, or expressions as your own to get a better grade or gain some other advantage" (66).
This is the general rule of thumb regarding plagiarism: any time you refer to, quote, or in any way use another person's publicly presented ideas in your own oral or written work, you must give credit to that person in writing in the body of your essay and in a "Works Cited" page. There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule. It includes material taken from the Web, from printed texts, from video, DVD, CD, CD-rom, etc.--the whole world of information that surrounds you. If you are concerned that you are plagiarizing or if you are having difficulty understanding the rules of citation and documentation, ask your instructor for help.
Last Modified: December 2, 2011