Citations are a way to communicate with others about the information we include in our research. It tells the reader that an idea, fact, or dataset is not our own, but rather something someone else created and where the reader can find the source you are referencing.
In sports, there are governing bodies (such as the NBA) that set rules about how a game is played. You likely know the general idea of how to play basketball and what a court looks like, but may not know that the NCAA rules require the cord that makes the net to be white and be made of twine that is between 120- and 144-thread count.
Depending on the citation style you use, the rules may change but the general ideas and information are the same:
For the citations, you will follow the rules set forth by an organization as it is prescribed by your professor, discipline, or the journal you want to publish your research.
Plagiarism is the act of passing off someone's thoughts, ideas, or creations as your own.
According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Academic integrity at MIT: A handbook for students (2019), plagiarism "occurs when you use another's words, ideas, assertions, data, or figures and do not acknowledge that you have done so." While plagiarism may not seem like a big deal, it is. If you are accused of plagiarism, a report will be filed, and a hearing may be held. Depending on the situation and severity of the accusation, you could obtain a failing grade, and you could be put on academic probation or even be suspended. For more information about academic integrity at Xavier, check out the Academic Integrity Policy.
So, how do we make sure we don't plagiarize? When it doubt, cite!
For more information on plagiarism, visit the following sources:
Research Support: Avoiding Plagiarism (Duke University Library)
Plagiarism and How to Avoid it: Avoiding Plagiarism (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology)
What is Plagiarism? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://integrity.mit.edu/handbook/what-plagiarism