III. Documenting Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism is taken very seriously at Friends’ Central, and you are responsible for learning what it is and how to avoid it.  Simply put, plagiarism is the submission of material under your own name that you did not create yourself.  You must give credit in your paper for any idea that is not your own unless it can be considered common knowledge.

Document a source if…

you quote the passage verbatim (use quotation marks)

you paraphrase the passage

you summarize the passage

you borrow someone else’s opinion or analysis

you use someone else’s organizational structure

you include obscure information

Regarding “obscure information,” there is room for disagreement about what to document, so when in doubt, cite. Do not bother to document a fact that could be found in any commonly used source. For example, the fact that World War II ended in 1945 does not need to be cited. But be sure to document less accessible facts, such as the specific number of operational submarines that Nazi Germany had in January 1945. The harder it would be for your readers to come across your fact through their own efforts, the more surely you need to document it. A fact or idea is generally considered to be common knowledge if you can find it in more than two or three of your sources (unless they all cite the same reference).

Documentation (or citations) for this paper must be done with footnotes according to the Chicago format for footnotes. Examples are on pages V. & 19.