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How to Research

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity            Academic integrity is at the core of your studies at Lambton College and will remain an important facet throughout your professional career.

   This page will:


What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism can be committed when a student submits work from a previous course or from another student.

Plagiarism can also be when students submit or present work (in whole or in part) that isn’t their own without giving proper reference to the original owner.

Source: myLambton Academic Integrity page

How to Avoid Plagiarism

  1. Keep track of sources. When researching, keep track of sources and ideas you come across. We recommend copying down the link (or permalink) or citation of a resource for future reference.
  2. Cite your sources. Always include a citation for every quote, paraphrase, or unoriginal idea in your research. There are several common citation styles, check out our page on citation styles for more details.
  3. Quote properly. If you use someone else's words, make sure you quote them properly using your citation style of choice.
  4. Consult an English tutor. If you are unsure of how to cite, paraphrase, or quote, make an appointment with an English tutor.

Why is Citing Important?

Why is Citing Important?

Citing sources is important for several reasons:

  • Citing sources in your research paper provides credibility for the author.
  • Acknowledging researchers for their ideas is not only the duty of a responsible researcher but also helps other academics succeed and attain academic careers.
  • Avoids plagiarism.
  • Allows readers to track down original sources cited in research papers.

Source: MIT Libraries

Cite Your Sources

To Cite or Not to Cite?

What must be cited:

  • Facts, figures, ideas, or other information that is not common knowledge
  • Ideas, words, theories, or exact language that another person used in other publications
  • Publications that must be cited include: books, book chapters, articles, web pages, theses, etc.
  • Another person's exact words should be quoted and cited to show proper credit

What does not need to be cited:

  • Your own ideas/opinions and original research
  • Common knowledge (e.g., World War II ended in 1945)
  • Things that are easily observed (e.g., many students use their cellphones as micro-computers)
  • Common sayings (e.g., Better late than never)

When in doubt, cite your sources.

Source: MIT Libraries: Citing Sources

Common Knowledge

You may have heard the term "common knowledge" before, but what does it really mean?

According to MITcommon knowledge "refers to information that the average, educated reader would accept as reliable without having to look it up".


For more information on how to determine if information is common knowledge, have a look at MIT's resource on common knowledge.


Instead of directly quoting source material in your research, try paraphrasing.

A paraphrase is "your own rendition of essential information and ideas expressed by someone else, presented in a new form" (Purdue).
Steps on How to Paraphrase:
  1. Read a passage from your source material until you understand its meaning.

  2. Set aside the source material and try writing out the main points (in your own words) of the resource.

  3. Check your paraphrased version against the original to make sure you accurately captured the information.

  4. Note the bibliographical information (e.g., author, date, page number) so you can easily reference your paraphrase in your work.

Adapted from Purdue: Paraphrase