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Video Transcripts

Using & Crediting Sources: Why We Cite: Examples

Last updated 5/19/2016


Visual: Walden logo is visible at the bottom of the screen along with a notepad and pencil background. “Walden University Writing Center. Your writing, grammar, and APA experts” appears in center of the screen. Background changes to a notebook on a table with a yellow text box on top.  In the text box, it reads: “Using & Crediting Sources” at the top and then "Why We Cite: Examples" in the middle, as the title of the video.   

Audio: Music plays.   


Visual: Slide rotates and changes to a slide with a heading of "Why do we cite?"  Below the heading are five blue circles with text in them that explain different reasons for citing.  The circles are connected by arrows to show a flow to the reasons. These reasons, following the arrows from start to finish, include:

  • Give credit to sources you are quoting and paraphrasing
  • Indicate when you're using sources
  • Direct the reader to the references list
  • Maintain integrity and credibility
  • Avoid plagiarism

Audio: So basically if you use an idea, even if you change some of the language to use different words, you need to indicate where the information came from. Indicating where you retrieved the idea from is important because it, it respects the author, it gives him or her or them if it's a group of authors credit for their ideas. And I’m just going to give you a little example here.

This is kind of an informal situation, but I’m trying to illustrate the idea. So imagine I come up with a really cool idea and I tell Beth about it. If she then pretends that it's her own idea and tells her friends about it, I’m not going to be very happy. But if she said, you know, Amy had this really cool idea, let me tell you about it, not only would she be following APA's guidelines, granted this is a very informal situation, but not only would she be following APA's guidelines and indicating where she got the information from, but it would be respectful to me as the author of the idea, so she's saying where she got the information from.

Another reason why we cite is to indicate when you're using sources. It’s important to show when you're discussing your own ideas and when you're discussing ideas that you read about in the literature. And when I say literature here, I really mean any sources that you're using for your assignments or courses, not just scholarly articles, not just books, but your source could be a person, a brochure, a website, a newspaper article, so you're showing when are you using information from a source and when are you not.

Another reason that we cite is to direct the reader to the reference list. Your citation will help show within the text where you retrieved the idea from. And then your reader can look at that citation in the text and then refer down to your reference list, and they'll be able to find the original source.

Another reason we cite is to maintain integrity and credibility. I always tell students that citing your sources helps build credibility as a researcher. Citing your sources can demonstrate to the reader that you've read the relevant literature and that you are well versed on the topic.

And then finally one of the reasons that you may know about is to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism happens when you take somebody else's ideas and do not give credit to the author or the authors of those ideas. So when you plagiarize, it basically means that you're portraying that the ideas are yours when in fact they're not. So it's important to avoid plagiarism because no matter if it's intentional or not, it can have major consequences.

Audio: Guitar music plays.  


Visual: The screen changes to a slide with a table and notebook and a yellow text box over it that reads "Learn More!" An arrow points to the "Walden University Writing Center" logo. The screen the changes to a pad of paper with a pencil and the Walden University Writing Center logo at the bottom. “Walden University Writing Center. Questions? E-mail” appears in center of the screen.