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COM 304 (Communications Research): Citation Resources

This one goes out to all the COM 304 students, journalism majors, media research lovers, and anyone else who is interested in these types of resources.

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A Note about Plagiarism (Hint: It's a Really Big Deal!)

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. Every year, thousands of students are expelled from college for plagiarizing, sometimes entire classes at once; in 2002, forty-eight University of Virginia students left school as a result of plagiarism (Hansen 775). Here at Ferrum, acts of plagiarism have a range of penalty possibilities that are determined by the Honor Board ("2017-2018 Student Handbook"). The good news is that plagiarism can be pretty easily avoided if you know how to cite things properly.

The Student Handbook provides information about what is considered plagiarism by our faculty and how to avoid it. Put simply, to avoid plagiarism, "proper scholarly procedures require that all quoted material be identified by quotation marks or indentation on the page, and the source of information and ideas, if from another, must be identified and be attributed to that source" ("Avoiding Plagiarism"). So what makes a thought original versus "from another" source? That question has been a point of controversy for a very long time, which is why it's recommended that you always cite something if you can. Incorporate one quotable thought into your work that demonstrates each point. Using the citation websites below or the citations provided by the databases will help you cite sources and write better papers. If you ever have more questions about whether or not something is plagiarism in your own work, please contact me, or check out one of these resources:

  • Plagiarism.org - includes a plagiarism checker that looks at your paper for places that need to be cited
  • "Avoiding Plagiarism When Building Your Own Website" - because plagiarism has major financial and reputation consequences in our professional lives too
  • Plagiarism Today - dedicated to helping webmasters and copyright holders protect their intellectual property, as well drawing attention to major stories of copyright violation

Please use this page to your advantage, particularly the citation guidelines, and remember that I am here to help/proofread.

Works Cited

"2017-2018 Student Handbook." Links & Information for Current StudentsFerrum College, 2017. Web. 17 Aug. 2017.

"Avoiding Plagiarism." Duke Libraries: Research and Reference. Duke University Libraries, n.d. Web 12 Jan. 2013.

APA Citation

While there are quite a few resources out there for citation styles, one website that academics have turned to again and again is the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue. This website provides guidelines for in-text and bibliography citations in MLA, APA, Chicago, and others, as well as additional content about performing research, writing résumés, and writing exercises.


Here are some great websites for finding citation format instructions:

OWL at Purdue - pick from MLA, APA, and Chicago

EasyBib - try the "Bibliography" tab for a citation generator and the "Citation Guide" tab for information about APA, MLA, and Chicago guidelines, as well as plagiarism resources

Citation Management at Cornell University Library - find easy-to-read charts about APA, MLA, and Chicago style


News from the OWL:

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Associated Press (AP) Style Guide

For those of you who may become future journalists, you have extra responsibility to be familiar with citation styles. In addition to being able to find credible information by correctly analyzing MLA, APA, and Chicago reference lists, you'll also frequently need to use the special Associated Press citation style. This is the style we see most frequently under images in news stories:

Cute pup (not mine)Jim McCluskey/kiltedlibrarian/flickr.com

Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL) provides some information about the unique guidelines of AP style, which is most frequently used in news writing. These guidelines reflect the professional standard used in the journalism field.

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