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PSY 2012 (Ciesko) - General Psychology Honors Class: Quoting Sources

A research guide for students' of Professor Ciesko's General Psychology Honors course

Tips For Citing

The following guidelines are useful when deciding what information you should cite.

  • Your research paper should contain no more than 25% of quoted material.  Your audience or readers will refer to your References if they want to read all the original material in your sources.
  • Information that is common knowledge does not need to be cited. For example, George Washington was the first President of the United States or O is the chemical symbol for Oxygen.  Note, information in Wikpedia is not neccesarily common knowledge.
  • If you have questions, or are unsure if something might be common knowledge then it is best to cite your source.

Quoting Sources In APA

The easiest way to avoid plagiarism in is to cite the source of your information.  In Professor Ciesko's class you are required to use APA Style.  The following rules will explain when to cite:

Direct Quotations: When you use another author or speaker's exact words, they must be quoted and cited.

Ex1: As Davis (2005) stated , “One of the earliest and most important insights about conflict resolution is that it often requires finding 'integrative solutions,' (p. 1811).

Paraphrasing or Summarizing:  Summarizing or putting another speaker's thoughts or ideas into your own words still must be cited, giving credit to the original source.

Ex.2: Harris (2008) explained that  violence in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Rwanda, have created a cycle of trauma across generations that can lead to future episodes of mass violence  (p. 594).

Stating Statistics or Making Claims: Statistics should always be cited and making claims that could be challenged or questioned should be cited.

Ex. 3: The biggest impediment to peace in the Middle East is on the Palestinian side. (Bishop, 2009).

  • It is useful to read your source, close it, and then write out your ideas in your own words without consulting the source.  Later, consult your source and if what you have written too closely resembles the source then cite the source and page number(s).
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