Skip to Main Content

Early College Experience (ECE) Guide — Citations and Plagiarism Prevention

Guide to UConn Library's resources for members of the UConn ECE community

Why is Citation Important?

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you must cite the source.

Your citations are like your paper's family tree. They show the difference between the ideas of others that you are responding to, and your own originality. Citation helps to clearly document the research you have done on your topic, and is very useful as you evaluate evidence and respond to the work of others.


  • Give credit where credit is due
  • Allow your readers to verify your research
  • Help your readers situate your ideas within a scholarly conversation
  • Allow you to strengthen your argument by properly introducing evidence
  • Help you avoid plagiarism

If you have any questions about citations, you can use the Ask a Librarian Chat for help.

Citation Tools in Databases

Examples of buttons in databases that will automatically create a citation if clicked

When you're using the General Search or browsing library databases, keep an eye out for buttons like these. They will create a citation for you to use!  As always, it's your responsibility to check that the citation is correct.

ZoteroBib: Online CItation Generator

ZoteroBib is a free website for generating citations and building bibliographies.


Depending on the length of the project you're working on and then number of sources, you might be interested in a citation management tool. Check out this page for more information.

Plagiarism Tutorial

Understanding Plagiarism Tutorial

This tutorial reviews concepts to help you avoid plagiarism, including:

  • Unintentional plagiarism
  • Common knowledge
  • Quoting, paraphrasing and summarizing
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Opinion
  • Other students' work
  • Using images
  • Fair use and public domain
  • Citation styles
  • Proofreading

Plagiarism Resources for Faculty

For information and resources on plagiarism, please refer to the page below.

Plagiarism Resources for Faculty

Integrating Sources Into Your Paper

Integrating sources into a paper can be challenging. How much of a source do you use? When should you use quotation marks? It is important to remember that you are the author of a paper, so sources are properly used to back up your own arguments, not state an argument in themselves, so how you use them depends on the structure of your paper and your argument.

Let's use this paragraph from a scholarly article to illustrate examples of quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing a source

These results suggest that morning people, or early chronotypes—as measured on the morningness–eveningness continuum are more proactive than are evening types. Additionally, the misalignment of social and biological time, as assessed by the difference between rise times on weekdays and on free days, correlated with proactivity, suggesting that people with a high misalignment of social and biological time may be less able to act in a proactive manner, probably because of sleep delay. Their biological schedules seem not to fit neatly into social demands (e.g., school, university, work schedules) as do those of less misaligned people.
Randler, C. (2009). Proactive people are morning people. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39(12), 2787-2797.

Used with permission from Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library, Fitchburg State University


  • Use quotations when you are repeating something from a source exactly word for word.
  • You should use quotation marks even if you are only taking just a few words from a source.
  • Quotes can help lend authority to an initial argument, but should not be relied upon too heavily in a paper. If you find yourself quoting an entire paragraph, a paraphrasing or summary of that content may often be more appropriate.
  • Quotes can and should be used when the original author’s wording is unusual, unique, or memorably states a point.

Examples using the paragraph above:
Randler (2009) states that late risers have “a high misalignment of social and biological time” which results in a mismatch between their natural schedules and the normal workday (p. 2793).
“People with a high misalignment of social and biological time may be less able to act in a proactive manner, probably because of sleep delay” (Randler, 2009, p. 2793).

Note that there are two ways to incorporate the source:

  • Single phrase – using the author’s name in your own narrative, and then incorporating their idea or words into a sentence (first example)
  • Direct quotation – Using the words or ideas of the source independently and adding the author’s name in the in-text citation (second example)


  • Paraphrasing is taking the idea of a sentence or passage, and putting it into your own words.
  • Paraphrasing is NOT copying the sentence and replacing or changing a few words to be different from the original. (This is called “patchwriting” and may trigger plagiarism-detecting programs.)
  • You should paraphrase when the idea or point is more important than the actual words used.
  • You should paraphrase when the words are complex but the point is simple.
  • Paraphrasing should remain faithful to the original meaning of the material.

Examples using the paragraph above:
Randler (2009) states that people who are naturally morning people often also display traits that are considered proactive. He also suggests that late risers may not show as many proactive traits because they naturally operate on a different sleep schedule (p. 2793).
People who are naturally morning people have been shown to also display traits that are considered proactive, and late risers display fewer of these traits because they don’t get enough sleep on days when they have to go to work or school. (Randler, 2009, p. 2793).


  • As with paraphrasing, summarize when the idea or point is more important than the actual words used.
  • Summarizing can condense much more material than paraphrasing – even an entire book or article.
  • Summarizing can often lead into your own points on the material.

Examples using the paragraph above:
Recent research shows that people who are not naturally early risers often have persistent issues adjusting themselves to the morning-oriented schedule of most schools and workplaces, and because of this may be less proactive in their behaviors (Randler, 2009).
The natural alignment of sleep schedules to work and school schedules allows early risers to have more energy and display proactive traits, while people who are natural late risers, and thus often combating sleep delay in adhering to regular schedules, display fewer of these traits (Randler, 2009).

Note that when summarizing, you do not always have to include the page number as you are summarizing the findings from the whole study, rather than just a small part of it.