What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is using someone else's work without giving him or her credit, leading your readers to think those words are yours. While this might seem easy to avoid, many people who plagiarize do so unintentionally. Although most people think of plagiarism as recording someone's exact words without crediting him or her, it also includes re-arranging someone else's words (paraphrasing) or using his or her ideas. These forms of plagiarism are more common and require careful attention to avoid.
Why should I cite my sources?
According the Arizona State University LibGuide on Citation and Plagiarism, there are four main reasons to cite:
The main reason not to plagiarize is because doing so is unfairly attributing ideas of someone else to yourself, whether or not you intend to.
When should I cite my sources?
When you aren't sure if you should be citing a source, make sure to ask your professor or at the reference desk. It's always better to be safe than sorry!
Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2003. Print.
Izenstark, A. "Citing Correctly and Avoiding Plagiarism." University Libraries: Libguides @ URI. The University of Rhode Island, Nov. 2009. Web. 8 Feb. 2012.
Oetting, Ed. "Citation & Avoiding Plagiarism." Literature Reviews and Annotated Bibliographies. Arizona State University, 2007. Web. 08 Feb. 2012.
There are a variety of generally accepted ways of citing sources, and these citation styles are outlined in what are called style guides. The most common styles of citation in music are MLA, Turabian, and Chicago styles, but you'll need to ask your professor which style he or she would prefer for your assignment.
The rules for citation are set out carefully in these guides, so consult them frequently when putting together your in-text citations and works cited page. On this page of the LibGuide you'll see links to style guides in the MPAL to the left and various helpful sites with citation rules and citation-creating machines below.