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Chemistry Writing - Spring 2017 (21:160:350): Plagiarism & Citing

This guide was specifically created for Dr. Mendelsohn's class - Spring 2017

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

ACS Style Guide

CSE Manual

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is defined as stealing and using the ideas of another as one's own.  In the academic world, this is considered a very serious charge.  For students, it can lead to failing grades and possibly even expulsion.  For faculty, it can result in the loss of one's job and/or one's standing in the profession. 

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. 

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:

Physical Sciences Librarian

Bonnie Fong's picture
Bonnie Fong
John Cotton Dana Library

185 University Ave

Newark, NJ 07102-1814

(973) 353-3811

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