Using Sources

The University of Alberta requires that you cite your sources, no matter what. Anything you did not generate on your own, whether it is text, images, graphics or data, must include an indication of where you got it. To use a source without a citation is to commit plagiarism.

5 Very Good Reasons for Citing Sources:

When we talk about how and when to cite sources, we also need to understand why it is so important.

  1. Since plagiarism is an offence under the Code of Student Behaviour, the obvious way to avoid a plagiarism charge is to acknowledge all sources used. 
  2. If readers are interested in something you have used, a proper citation helps them to find exactly where you got your information and to read more about it. 
  3. In recognition of those scholars on whose work we build our own, it is only right to acknowledge them, showing respect and gratitude for their contributions to the body of 
  4. Citing sources establishes where your ideas fit into the wider subject area. It demonstrates that you have used multiple sources of information to support your own ideas, allowing you to refute or agree with ideas that have come before. Not only does this prove that you have done extensive research on your topic, it adds credibility and depth to your paper, resulting in a better grade!
  5. As a community of scholars and researchers, we have certain standard practices. One of the tenets of scholarship is that we build our knowledge on the work of those that came before us. Likewise, those who come after us will build on our work. Therefore, it is standard practice to cite all sources. While a student at university, you are an integral part of the community of scholars and therefore are expected to adopt the standard practice of citation.