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Biology: Citing Sources/Plagiarism

Citation Resources

Check with your instructor to determine if they have a preferred citation style. Victoria McMillan's Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences (4th ed.) is a guide to scientific citation style based on the Council of Science Editors guide to style and format.

A copy is available in reference at R 808 M16 2006 in the Reference Collection.

Citation Managers

A citation manager is a tool which helps you to store, organize and output your citations in the format you prefer. A citation manager can also help automate the creation of bibliographies for your research papers.

Avoiding Plagiarism


When you quote, paraphrase, summarize, or otherwise refer to the work of another, you are required to cite its source, either with a parenthetical citation, footnote, or endnote.  Not to do so is considered plagiarism. Anything you write or create that uses or refers to the ideas of another person must be cited properly, this includes:

  • direct quotations
  • paraphrasing of passages
  • indebtedness to another person for an idea
  • use of another student's work
  • use of your own previous work

You do not need to cite common knowledge. For example, you do not need to cite the fact that Thomas Jefferson was the third president of the United States, but you would need to cite your source for the number of slaves he inherited from his father.


If you need further assistance please contact:

Tiffany Raymond