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Chemistry Writing - Spring 2020 (21:160:350): Plagiarism & Citing

This guide was specifically created for Prof. Raffi Manjikian's class - Spring 2020

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the "stealing" or use of someone else's work without attribution - i.e., treating someone else's work as if it were your own. This is a very serious charge and can result in severe disciplinary action, including a fail grades and possibly even expulsion. 

To avoid plagiarism, cite your sources!  Citations not only give proper credit to others for their ideas, but they indicate to your reader what resources were referred to when writing your paper. 

In a nutshell...

  • Remember to cite when:
    • quoting
    • paraphrasing
    • summarizing
    • borrowing an image
  • You do NOT have to cite when it is:
    • common knowledge
    • original thought

For more information on plagiarism, please take a look at the items below:

Rutgers' policies on plagiarism

Read about Rutgers University's policies on plagiarism here:

Style Manuals

Style manuals can help you with properly citing your sources.  These manuals have been developed by professional associations as well as edited publications to provide standardized formats for authors to report their research results and for readers' convenience and greater understanding.   While you may be familiar with style manuals such as the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA style), The Chicago Manual of Style, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Modern Language Association/MLA style), or The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, the one to use in chemistry is typically The ACS Style Guide.  A copy of this is available at the John Cotton Dana Library - further information is on the left.

Note that some journals may prefer a special style.  You will typically find detailed information about their preferences under the "Information for Authors" section of their Web site.  Beware that a single publisher (e.g., American Chemical Society) may even use different styles for different journals


Citation managers can be a great help with citations:

ACS Style Guide

CSE Manual


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