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Early Childhood Education: Citing Sources

This guide provides tips and information on many different resources available for Early Childhood Education students.

Plagiarism and Documentation

Plagiarism can be defined as using someone else’s words, ideas, images, or data without properly acknowledging the original source. Plagiarism is a serious offense and is a violation of this College's Student Code of Conduct.  Examples of plagiarism include:

  • copying exactly someone else’s work without acknowledging the original source
  • altering someone else’s words, ideas, images, or data and presenting them as one’s own
  • paraphrasing someone else's words without acknowledging the original source
  • claiming as one’s own work that was created, altered, or revised by someone else
  • copying exactly someone else's work, acknowledging the original source, but omitting quotation marks
  • obtaining a paper from a research service, a "term paper mill," or a "free term paper" website

Penalties for committing plagiarism are at the discretion of the classroom instructor; however, they may include disciplinary sanctions such as a failing grade for the assignment, a failing grade for the course, or dismissal from college.

Plagiarism can be avoided by using information in an ethical way. Documentation ensures that the original creator of a source is properly acknowledged each time his or her words, information, ideas, or images are used in another work.

Proper documentation is done both in the text of a project and in a works cited or references list at the end of the project.  This serves several purposes, including:

  • providing complete publication information for a source
  • giving credit to the original creator of a source
  • enabling the reader to more easily find the original source
  • providing a standardized style for recording that information.

Each and every time information is taken from a source (whether it is taken as an exact quote, re-worded, or paraphrased) and used in a research project, credit must be given to the original source of information.  Typically, that is done in two ways:

  • parenthetical, or in-text citations provide a brief notation of the author, date and/or page number
  • lists of references, or works-cited provide complete publication or other information that would allow the reader to locate the complete source

Most research projects require both in-text citations and a list of works at the end of the project (aka a bibliography).

Documentation Handouts

Check with your instructor to determine which style is required for your research project.  The handouts linked here provide examples for documenting the most commonly used types of resources.  (You will need Adobe Reader to view or print the first four PDF documents below):

Citing Sources from Databases

Helpful Websites