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Stony Brook University

Information Literacy

Citations and Plagiarism Defined

citation is important for many reasons.

  • It attributes information to the creator of that information.
  • It provides authority and context for the audience.
  • It makes it possible for others to find and/or replicate research.
  • Finally, information creators often feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in their list of citations because it documents a research journey. The citation list shows what survived and remained relevant to the project after all that searching and evaluating, and it is a way to "show off" what you found.

Plagiarism is taking text, ideas, images, sound recordings, or other creative expressions that belong to someone else and representing them as your own. When you effectively cite your sources, you avoid plagiarism.

For more resources and information, see the Citations and Plagiarism guide.

Citation Styles Help

The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University provides easy to read and understand guides for different citation styles.

Use the menu on the left to navigate through the guide.

How to Avoid Plagiarism


Zotero is "a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, cite, and share your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself."