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Information Literacy Modules (Basic): MODULE #4: Documenting Sources

Contains four modules that introduce basic information literacy and library research skills through videos followed by quizzes.


When you complete this module, you should be able to apply basic citation procedures to correctly acknowledge material used from outside sources in an academic paper or project.

  • Link to the video (includes transcript and captioning)
  • Link to the transcript

Script for Module #4: Documenting Sources

Slide 1 (Title slide): Welcome to the module for documenting sources.

Slide 2: Here, we’ll talk about why citing sources is important, what the different parts of a citation are, and how to identify and fix improper citations. Finally, we will suggest some online resources to help you cite outside sources appropriately. We encourage you to pause this video to take additional time with slides as needed.

Slide 3: [section slide] Plagiarism: A Definition

Slide 4: Essentially, plagiarism is the act of passing off someone else’s work as your own. It’s important to read up on your topic, but it is also essential to give credit to others for their content.

Slide 5: Plagiarism includes the unacknowledged use of all kinds of content, including but not limited to words, data, computer code, images, and sound.

Slide 6: Plagiarism is less a legal concept than one that regulates academic honesty or integrity. Depending on the severity of the plagiarism, consequences may range from having to repeat a single assignment to failing an entire course.

Slide 7: Reusing your own work without instructor permission or making up citations are also examples of academic misconduct. Outside of academic work, unauthorized copying of others’ work is governed by copyright law. Depending on how high the stakes are, consequences for violations of copyright law can be very expensive. 

Slide 8: General knowledge or widely accepted facts do not require citation. If you can reasonably expect to find a piece of information appearing in five or more different sources, no citation should be necessary. 

Slide 9: [section slide] Documentation Styles

Slide 10: Different academic subjects use different citation styles. Always ask your instructor if there is a particular style you should be using for your project.

Slide 11: Every citation has two pieces -- the in-text citation and the bibliography entry. In-text citations can be parenthetical within the text or they can appear as footnotes or endnotes. Bibliographies always appear as an alphabetized list at the end of a paper or project.

Slide 12: [section slide] Organizing and Tracking Research

Slide 13: There are lots of different apps and software to help with taking notes: some are highly specialized, but everyday office software can also be useful.

Slide 14: Ultimately, your style of note taking should consist of whatever works best for you. Most important, you want to make it clear in your notes when you’re quoting a source word-for-word, when you’re paraphrasing, and what page numbers you’re borrowing from.

Slide 15: There are many different kinds of software out there to help you keep track of your research. The free option that we recommend is called Zotero. Digital sources can be collected automatically while info for print sources must usually be entered by hand.

Slide 16: Citation formatters are less robust, often built-in functions that can help you cite as you compose. Regardless of what apps you use to help you with citations, always proofread and check that your entries are correct in spelling, appearance, order, and punctuation. 

Slide 17: [section slide] Types of Citation

Slide 18: Take a moment to examine this example of a correctly cited word-for-word quotation. Note the student version’s use of quotation marks and its inclusion of an in-text citation. 

Slide 19: This example shows a paraphrased version of original text that goes beyond surface or cosmetic changes. The student has communicated the ideas using their own words and sentence structure, completing it with an in-text page number citation.

Slide 20: When you summarize a longer passage, make sure that your paraphrase doesn’t copy the grammatical structure of the original. Also make sure that you are faithful to the original content in your paraphrase.

Slide 21: [section slide] Identifying and Correcting Plagiarism -- Now let’s try finding places where sources have been improperly cited.

Slide 22: Read the original here and consider the student version. Is there plagiarism? If so, what kind? Pause the video now to take a closer look.

Even though the student correctly cites a direct quote, they make only cosmetic changes to two pieces of the original source that they have tacked together. This is paraphrasing plagiarism.

Slide 23: Consider this example. There’s definitely plagiarism going on, but where and what kind of plagiarism is it? Pause your video to compare the two versions.

This is both word-for-word plagiarism AND paraphrasing plagiarism. The first half of the student version is word-for-word plagiarism and the second half is insufficiently paraphrased.

Slide 24: How about this third example? Has the student rephrased the material in their own language using a distinct sentence structure? Pause the video one last time to compare the student version to the original.

This is not plagiarism. The student version of the original faithfully communicates the same ideas without copying specific language or sentence structure.

Slide 25: You might be wondering why we haven’t cited any sources in this slide show. Everything it contains is general knowledge and the writing is all original, so no citation is necessary. However, we HAVE cited the decorative photos used in each slide that divides this presentation into different sections.

Slide 26: [section slide] Resources -- Can you find the image citation in this slide? What information does it contain?

Slide 27: Here are several resources. The last two, Loyola’s Office of Learning and Writing in the Student Success Center and librarian liaisons provide live, individualized appointments to help you with your projects.

Slide 28: And for folks who will read this slide show in print, we’ve included the actual URLs to all of these resources for future reference.

Slide 29: Thanks for watching, and happy researching!

Documenting Sources

Module 4 Quiz: Academic Integrity