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Civil & Environmental Engineering 103: Why cite?

Resources and tips for citations in blogging.


Blog writing, while less formal than traditional venues of scholarly communication, still benefits from giving credit to other content creators for their words, ideas, or artistic works. Citing another author helps protect you from plagiarism, gives others recognition for their ideas, and allows your readers to delve further into a topic by tracking down other readings. 

This guide provides some tips and tools to help you manage your sources and cite them properly. 

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What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, violating the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct. According to the Code:

"Plagiarism includes use of intellectual material produced by another person without acknowledging its source."

Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic and student conduct rules and is punishable with a failing grade and possibly more severe action.

Why cite sources?

Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit.

Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you consulted, show the depth and scope of your research, and give credit to authors for their ideas. Citations provide evidence for your arguments and add credibility to your work by demonstrating that you have sought out and considered a variety of resources. In written academic work, citing sources is standard practice and shows that you are responding to this person, agreeing with that person, and adding something of your own. Think of documenting your sources as providing a trail for your reader to follow to see the research you performed and discover what led you to your original contribution.

By following these guidelines, you avoid plagiarism, which is a serious violation of the Code of Student Conduct.