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CCC Copyright Guidlines

What are citations?

Citations are pointers in your writing or work that tell others where you found your information. Citations can be written in several different formats; the most popular formats at Cleveland Community College are the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Using citations is important for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • Avoid plagiarizing 
  • Allow your reader to find your sources
  • Add credibility to your work

Plagiarism and Copyright

Plagiarism is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "the action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own". (Citation: plagiarism, n. Third edition, June 2006; online version September 2011. <>; accessed 31 October 2011.)

Examples of Plagiarism:

  • Paraphrasing  without giving credits to the original source
  • Not using quotations properly
  • Creating a paper by cutting and pasting text from other publications
  • Working on an individual assignment with a partner and turning in identical answers
  • Copying an entire article
  • Downloading a paper from the Internet
  • Paying someone to write your paper or using a friend’s old paper
  • Faking citations

To avoid plagiarism:

  • Use Citations
  • Know the difference between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing
  • Make sure to always have an in-text citation paired with a full citation in your Works Cited/Reference list

Plagiarism Resources