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Fabricating Citations

Preventing PlagiarismYou make up all or part of a citation.


  • If you falsify a citation, that is plagiarism.
  • If you falsify part of a citation, that is plagiarism.
  • If you cite a real source, but do not use it in your paper, that is also plagiarism.

A Closer Look: Review the Scenario Below

Tommy Triton began writing his research paper the day before it was due. He figured nobody else would be writing on his topic so it shouldn't be a problem finding information at the library. However, Tommy discovers that several of the books he needs are checked out. He does find several journal articles online.

Tommy is now in his dorm room reviewing the books and articles he got from the library. He's up all night writing his paper. It's 5am and he's writing his "Works Cited" page. He is so sleepy, he can't remember which articles he used. Tommy decides to make-up the remaining sources. He's way too tired to care.

A week later the professor asks to meet with Tommy about the plagiarized sources in his paper.

Lessons learned:

  • Writing a paper takes time.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to do your research.



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