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Citing: Why Cite?

Intellectual Property Rights

Image taken from GetACoder

According to The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),

"Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

IP is divided into two categories: 

  • Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source;
  • Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works, and architectural designs.  Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs."

More information

You can also visit MHC's Proper Use of Sources tutorials for more information. There, you can

  • take a test to find out how well equipped you are in using sources 

                                    ... and many more.

What is Plagiarism?

From Mount Holyoke's Proper Use of Sources Site:

You plagiarize when you take another author's ideas or words, and use them in such a way that it appears that the ideas or words are your own. There are two kinds of plagiarism:

  • You take someone else's words. If you use another person's language, then you must notate explicitly (using quotation marks or block quotes) so that you clearly indicate that the words are someone else's, and not yours.


  • You use someone else's idea or finding. The critical point here is that any time you cite a fact that is not common knowledge, use an insight or thesis, or follow the structure or plan of another person's writing, you must cite the source for that idea, even if you use your own words to describe it. It is not always easy to decide which facts are considered common knowledge. When in doubt, cite a source.

The following chart, taken from Purdue University, represents plagiarism as a spectrum.

Honor Code Implications

It does not matter whether you intend to plagiarize; if you use someone else's words or ideas without making it perfectly clear that you're doing so, you have committed a serious breach of the Mount Holyoke honor code.

Mount Holyoke's Honor Code:

I will honor myself, my fellow students, and Mount Holyoke College by acting responsibly, honestly, and respectfully in both my words and deeds.

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