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GPS Writing Workshop   Tags: citation, global, literature, research, writing  

This research guide is for students at NYU Shanghai who are taking the GPS Writing Workshop.
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Citation & Organization Print Page


NYU Libraries provides students with the premium version of EasyBib. Register while you're on the NYU campus by going to


Saving and Organizing Your Research

Specialized research tools help you to:

  • import citations from databases and catalogs
  • organize your research
  • format your reference list in dozens of standard styles (MLA, APA, and more.

NYU Libraries provides EasyBib, RefWorks, and Endnote. For a complete list and info on how to access and use these tools, go to the Research Tools page.

Not sure which one to use? See a comparison chart for a brief overview of the tools' main features.


What Is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism (pronounced: play-juh-riz-um) is the act of taking someone else’s words, ideas, or information and passing them off as your own. If you don’t give credit to the author of these ideas in footnotes or endnotes and a bibliography, you are committing plagiarism, which is a serious academic offense.

Everything you find that is written, whether in print in books and journals, or on the web, should be considered copyrighted. That means that you should think of it as belonging to someone else. Information that you find on the web is not free to take or use – it is someone else’s intellectual property. Any material lifted from an original source, including web resources, without proper acknowledgement or credit is considered plagiarized. Inadvertent or accidental plagiarism is still plagiarism. Plagiarism can inadvertently happen if you are not careful about taking notes while you research; it is sometimes difficult to remember exactly where your ideas came from when you are doing research, so remember to cite your sources while you work.

It is your responsibility to know what constitutes plagiarism. Not knowing citation standards is not an excuse. When in doubt, err on the side of over-documentation and cite the source. You can also ask your professor, teaching assistant, or a librarian for help in determining what is and is not plagiarism.


Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Make your own ideas the focus of your paper.
  • Use the ideas of others to reinforce your own argument, and give the original author credit by citing the source.
  • Keep track of complete citation information whenever you take notes and while you are writing your paper.  Unintentional plagiarism can result from sloppy research or from careless "cutting and pasting" of online sources.
  • Make it a habit to regularly use EasyBib to keep track of every source you find. Better yet, learn how to use RefWorks to not only format your citations but also provide you with an online file cabinet of your research sources.
  • Any words, ideas, opinions, or original research that are not your own must be cited.  This is true whether you copy material word-for-word or if you summarize a passage and change a few words around.  Use quotation marks when you directly state another person's words. 
  • Common knowledge, established facts, and well-known proverbs do not need to be cited.  None of these sentences needs a citation:
    • Albany is the capital of New York. 
    • Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. 
    • Look before you leap.

Why Do I Need to Cite My Sources?

When you are writing a paper, you must cite your sources in order to:

  • avoid plagiarism 
  • acknowledge the author of ideas and words other than your own
  • enable readers of your paper to re-locate your source

If you need writing help, the Academic Resource Center is an excellent resource for NYU students.


How Do I Cite My Sources Properly?

Academic or scholarly work requires a bibliography, which may also be referred to as a works cited page, a citations list, or a reference list. Below are two examples of formatted citations.

A complete list of examples in MLA and other styles is found on the library's Bibliographic and Footnote Style Guide.

Reference Type

A sample citation in MLA format: In-Text Citation
Book with one author

Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver: MacMurray, 1999. Print.

(Henley 103)
Journal article with two authors

Collard, Scott, and Tempelman-Kluit, Nadaleen. "The Other Way In: Goal-Based Library Content Through CMS." Internet Reference Services Quarterly 11.4 (2006): 55-68. Print.

(Collard and Tempelman-Kluit 63)

Citation Handbooks

Cover Art
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers - Joseph Gibaldi
Call Number: LB2369 .G53 2009 (also available in Reference Collection and at Reference Desk)
Publication Date: 2009 (7th) edition
The seventh edition is a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to research and writing in the online environment. It provides an authoritative update of MLA documentation style for use in student writing, including simplified guidelines for citing works published on the Web and new recommendations for citing several kinds of works, such as digital files and graphic narratives.

Cover Art
What Every Student Should Know about Avoiding Plagiarism - Linda Stern
Call Number: PN167 .S74 2007
ISBN: 0321446895
Publication Date: 2006-06-13
This book teaches students to take plagiarism seriously, to understand its consequences, and how to avoid it. This invaluable guide offers instruction and models for how to summarize, paraphrase, and quote sources. The most common types of plagiarism are discussed, from simple mistakes such as forgetting to use the quotation marks when using someone else's exact words or failing to acknowledge another's thoughts and ideas, to wholesale fraudulence, such as purchasing student papers from online sites and claiming them as one's own work. A brief guide to citing sources in both MLA and APA styles is also included.

Cover Art
The Bedford handbook - Diana Hacker
Call Number: PE1408 .H277 2010 Non-circulating
Built on Diana Hacker’s vision and developed with the help of expert composition teachers, The Bedford Handbook is the indispensable classroom and reference tool it always was — only better. Now with the strongest coverage of research writing in a full-sized handbook, the seventh edition helps students meet one of the core challenges of academic writing: maintaining their own voice while writing from sources.


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