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BIOL 1132: Environmental Science Lab: Cite Your Sources

Library resources and tips to help you complete your Field Report.

What Is Plagiarism?

Imagine that you have come up with an exciting, new theory and publish it in a journal article. Then someone else writes an article including your theory, but doesn’t give you credit for your idea. How would you feel? You’d probably feel it was unfair for someone else to take credit for your work.

In academics, it is considered worse than unfair when credit isn’t given to the creator of a work or an idea; it is considered unethical. The term for representing someone else’s work as your own, even if unintentionally, is plagiarism. At UNT and all universities, plagiarism is a serious violation of the academic code; see the Student Academic Integrity section of the UNT Policy Manual.

So, whenever you paraphrase or directly quote from someone else’s work, you must provide a citation. It’s the fair and ethical thing to do! Visit Plagiarism.org to find FAQs, examples of plagiarism, and more.

The 2 Parts of Citing: Works Cited and In-Text Citation

Most people know that when you are citing a source, you put a full reference for the work on the Works Cited page or Reference List at the end of your paper or project.

There’s also a second part to citing called the in-text citation. It is a parenthetical reference within or after the sentence in which you paraphrased or directly quoted an author. These citations are in the body of the paper. Here’s an example in APA style:


The ship, The Beagle, first landed at the Cape Verde archipelago after leaving England (Darwin, 1996).

Citation Style Manuals and Dissertation/Thesis Format

There are several styles for in-text and reference list citations. Your lab manual states that you can use one of the following: MLA, APA, or the style used in a particular environmental science journal.

Your lab manual gives you examples of how to cite in-text and in the reference list for the journal, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Each scholarly journal has a particular citation style that contributing authors are required to use.

MLA is the citation style of the Modern Language Association and is normally used in the fields of humanities and liberal arts. APA is the citation style of the American Psychological Association and is normally used in the field of social sciences and sciences. Both associations publish manuals that tell you exactly how to do in-text and reference list citations, and many universities provide online abridged guides for students.

You will need to use a particular citing format for a thesis/dissertation. You can find that information in the print style manuals or online guides listed below.

Subject Guide

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Erin O'Toole
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