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When do I need to document sources?

If you use any external sources in your work, you must document every instance where you do so. There are several ways of incorporating outside sources into your own work:

Direct Citation

  • where you quote a source directly, word for word
  • where you reproduce source material without alteration (e.g. diagrams, charts, other audio-visual material)

Indirect Citation

  • where you reproduce part or all of someone else’s idea in your own words (commonly known as paraphrasing)
  • where you use or summarize someone else’s research
  • where you use facts or data that are not common knowledge
  • where you reproduce source material in slightly altered form while retaining the main idea or structure

Both direct and indirect citations require proper documentation. Quotations, in particular, must be enclosed within quotation marks or set off in a block quote.