Citation Practices and Academic Integrity

Graduate Student Resource Center

Faculty and administrators expect graduate students to be very familiar with academic citation practices. If you did not receive your prior education in the U.S., you will need to learn U.S. academic citation standards thoroughly.

You've probably heard about the dangers of plagiarism in previous writing or research instruction or in an orientation to UCLA (for international students). For information on UCLA's campus policies, see UCLA’s Academic Integrity policy and Student Conduct Code. Plagiarism can be intentional—such as copying someone else’s text into your paper and deliberately not indicating that someone else wrote it—or unintentional—such as paraphrasing or quoting someone else’s idea but forgetting to cite the source.

Avoiding unintentional plagiarism can be complicated. You have to know how and when to cite, quote, and paraphrase. (The latter can be especially difficult if you feel like the author said it best or if you have trouble putting it in your own words and syntax.) And, depending on where you grew up, where you went to school, and what teachers you studied with, you may be more or less familiar with these practices. To get a sense of the diversity of citation-teachings around the world, check out George Mason University’s “Written Accents: International Voices in the Academy,” especially the sections on plagiarism and originality.

To help you improve your citation practices, the GWC has recorded workshops on citation and academic integrity that you can view here. We have listed some additional resources below:

Comprehensive Resources

Academic Integrity Workshop Video: Presented by the UCLA Dean of Students, this 42-minute video discusses what plagiarism is, UCLA's approach to it, and how to avoid it.

Avoiding Plagiarism: A collection of links compiled by the UCLA Library on what plagiarism is, strategies for avoiding it, and citation styles.

UCLA Workshop on Avoiding Plagiarism: The UCLA Office of the Dean of Students periodically offers an in-person workshop on academic integrity, usually at the library. RSVP at the Dean's workshop website.

Exercises on Identifying Plagiarism

Avoiding Plagiarism Exercise: This quiz, developed by Cardiff University, contains questions that test your ability to identify what is wrong about one or more student summaries. An answer key is provided.

Recognizing and Avoiding Plagiarism Exercises: This free module from Cornell University presents a series of case studies based on a variety of academic sources.

The Language of Citing

Criticism & Evaluation: This interactive exercise from BBC English has a series of activities designed to help you choose the right reporting verbs and phrases, and to comment critically and appropriately on others' work.

Citing Sources: This page, developed by Andy Gillet for his Using English for Academic Purposes site, focuses on the language of citing sources — reporting another’s ideas through paraphrase or summary, direct quoting, and referring to secondary sources.

Citation Styles

Citation Styles: This link will send you to our resources on the major styles and on your field’s citation style.

To suggest a resource or report a broken link, email the GWC at