Acknowledging sources is an important part of writing an academic paper, not only are you giving credit where credit is due, but you show that you have done your research and consulted valuable sources.

Say you come across the text displayed below. There are several correct and incorrect ways of incorporating the text or the ideas of the text in your own paper.

Latour

Latour, 1987

Not plagiarism

This is my own text, followed by something unoriginal. “A paper that does not have references is like a child without an escort walking at night in a big city it does not know: isolated, lost, anything may happen to it” (Latour, 1987, p. 33). After which I continue my own text.

This is not plagiarism, a quote is given with proper quotation marks and the source is acknowledged properly.

This is my own text, followed by something unoriginal. Latour (1987) compares a referenceless paper to a helpless lost child. After which I continue my own text

This is not plagiarism, the text is paraphrased and a source of the idea is given.

This is my own text, followed by something unoriginal. A reference less paper can be compared to a helpless lost child (Latour, 1987,). After which I continue my own text.

This is not plagiarism, the text is paraphrased and a source of the idea is given, but in a different way than in the previous example.

The above examples are only not plagiarized if the reference list contains the correct reference.

Plagiarism

This is my own text, followed by something unoriginal. A paper that does not have references is like a child without an escort walking at night in a big city it does not know: isolated, lost, anything may happen to it. After which I continue my own text.

This is plagiarism as a text is literally copied from a source without acknowledging it in the proper way.

This is my own text, followed by something unoriginal. A paper that does not have references is like a child without an escort walking at night in a big city it does not know: isolated, lost, anything may happen to it (Latour, 1987). After which I continue my own text.

Again this is plagiarism. Whilst the source is indicated, the quote is literal and this should be indicated by quotation marks in front and after the quote. In a lot of reference styles the page numbers are also required.

This is my own text, followed by something unoriginal. A reference less paper can be compared to a helpless lost child. After which I continue my own text.

This is plagiarism, the text is paraphrased but no source of the idea is given.

How to Acknowledge

The way you should acknowledge your sources can vary, please consult your supervisor, or tutor, on the appropriate style you should use. When you find yourself confronted by terms as APA or Vancouver the Student Desktop offers help in the form of the program Endnote a reference manager which can format your references in the correct style. More information on Endnote can be found by consulting the Library’s Endnote website.

Citation Sample

Example of correct acknowledgement

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