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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Communication 111/112

A guide for library resources and research information for students in Communication 111 and 112.

Writing help


Plagiarism: The Facts (Accessible View)

The Facts

  • In 2013, 125 Harvard students were implicated for cheating on an exam. 60 of those students were forced to withdraw (Conway & Lee 2014). 
  • In 2011, 55% of college presidents reported an increase of students cheating on papers (Parker, Lenhart, & Moore).

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is taking someone else's ideas or published information and using it in your own writing as if it was your own. When you cite someone, you are acknowledging you have used the information created by someone else in your work. 

If you have additional questions about plagiarism, contact your class instructor, the Writers Workshop or Ask a Librarian.

Why is plagiarism a big deal? 

Plagiarism is stealing. When you plagiarize, you are denying an author rightful credit for their work. In other words, you are stealing. 

Plagiarism is dishonest. Plagiarism is a form of lying--you are passing off someone else's work as your own. 

Plagiarism goes against academic integrity. In the academic world, scholars abide by "academic integrity." This means they agree to share their work under the condition that they receive credit for their original work and scholarship.

How to avoid plagiarism

  1. ​Don't submit someone else's work as your own. This includes friends as well as information you find on the Internet or in a library.

  2. Always cite your sources. This lets your audience know where you got your information. If you don't cite, you're submitting someone else's work as your own. 

  3. Ideas from someone else have to be either paraphrased (rephrased in your own words) and cited; summarized and cited; or quoted and cited. See the difference between quoting, summarizing, and paraphrasing.

If you don't cite...

Your instructor and/or an academic committee may look into any suspicions of plagiarism or cheating. If the accusations turn out to be true, the University of Illinois' Student Code states that you could face: 

  1. A reduced or failing grade in the course.
  2. No credit for the course. 
  3. Suspension or dismissal from the University of Illinois.
  4. Any combination of these options. 

Read the University of Illinois' Student Code.

Don't panic! Yes, you have to cite. But we can help! Check out our citation guide:


Conway, M & Lee, S. (2014). 2012-2013 Ad Board Stats Reflect Three-Fold Spike in Academic Dishonesty Cases. The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved from
Parker, K., Lenhart, A. & Moore, K. (2011). The Digital Revolution and Higher Education College Presidents, Public Differ on Value of Online Learning. Retrieved from
"Part 4. Academic Integrity and Procedure" University of Illinois. Administration, n.d. June 1, 2018 
"Why Plagiarism Is Wrong." Teaching and Learning with Technology. Pennsylvania State University, n.d. Web. 29 June 2014.

Citing Your Sources

APA: Quick Guide

APA: Quick Guide (Accessible View)

APA (American Psychological Association)


Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title: Capital letter for subtitle also. Publisher.

Journal Articles

Author, A. A., B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of Article. Title of Periodical, volume number (issue number), pages.


Author, A. A., & Author, B.B. (Date of publication). Title of Webpage. Name of Website. URL

In Text

(Author, Year of publication, p. #)


Angeli, E., Wagner, J., Lawrick, E., Moore, K., Anderson, M., Soderlund, L., & Brizee, A. (2010, May 5). General Format. Retrieved from

Learn more at:

Integrate Sources Into Your Paper

There are three ways you can integrate sources into your paper.

  1. Quote: Any time you use the exact wording found in a source it needs to be "quoted." Use only when the source has written something in an interesting or distinctive way.
  2. Paraphrase: Paraphrasing puts an excerpt from a source into your own words, rephrasing but not shortening it. Paraphrase when a quote won’t quite fit into the grammar or tone of your own writing.
  3. Summarize: Summarizing boils a text down to its essential points. It is especially useful for incorporating other authors’ big ideas without sacrificing too much space in your own writing. 

For more information and to see examples of how to integrate sources, see the Integrate Sources Into Your Paper link below.

What is the Purpose of an Annotated Bibliography?

The purpose of an annotated bibliography is to describe the cited material, whether a book, article or other type of source. It is a brief, descriptive note that should provide sufficient information so that a determination can be made as to whether the source should be examined further for use. Annotations help to clarify each source, and they will often provide evaluative information as well.

How to Annotate Your Bibliography

This guide contains instructions on creating an annotated bibliography. 

Annotated Bibliography: INFOGRAPHIC

Annotated Bibliographies (Accessible View)

What you should include: most annotations are between 50 and 150 words.

  • Purpose - Why are they writing the article or doing the research?
  • Author - Who is the author? What is their occupation/position, education, experience? Is the author qualified?
  • Author Bias - Does the author make assumptions upon which the rationale of the article or research rests? What are they?
  • Source Content - What method of obtaining data was employed? Is the source based on personal opinion or experience? Interviews or library research? Experiments or tests? Etc.
  • Intended Audience - Is this intended for the general public, scholars, or someone else? Is this reflected in the author's style of writing/presentation?
  • Author Conclusion - At what conclusion does the author arrive?
  • Significant Attachments - Are there appendices such as charts, maps, bibliographies, photos, tests, or questionnaires? If not, should there be?
  • Justification - Does the author satisfactorily justify the conclusion from the research or experience? Why or why not?
  • Relationships to Other Works - How does this study compare to similar studies? Are there specific examples with which this source agrees or disagrees?

An annotation should:

  • Briefly describe the cited material
  • Provide more guidance to the reader in determining the usefulness of a work
  • NOT be a book review or abstract

Annotated Bibliography Resources

The Writer's Handbook: Annotated Bibliography (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Annotated Bibliographies (Purdue OWL)