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Online Guide to Writing and Research

Academic Integrity and Documentation

Giving Credit to Sources


What is documentation?

Documentation, sometimes called citing, is the process by which you acknowledge the use of another person’s words, ideas, conclusions, information, data, graphics, and products. It involves keeping careful records of your sources and using a format specified in a style guide.  Students, writers, researchers, and other professionals are all expected to use proper documentation to acknowledge the use of and give credit to the work of others. 

Documentation is important because it

  • Is a vital component of practicing academic integrity 

  • Adheres to copyright law

  • Creates a path, helping readers see your ideas and conclusions

  • Avoids confusion about which ideas are yours and which ideas you are using as supporting evidence from a source

Key Takeaway

Writers must learn how to properly document the sources they use in order to give credit to the creator of the original material.  

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