How to Avoid Plagiarism

Guidelines for Avoiding Quotation Errors

Before we reveal Guideline I, try to answer this question.

Is the following statement true or false? Click your answer.

Quotation marks are required when using a source's exact words, even if you've credited the author in the sentence.

True | False

The statement is true.

Guideline I: Place quotation marks around words copied verbatim (exactly) from a source, even if you've credited the author in the same sentence.

Here is an example of properly used quotation marks:

According to Ric Edelman (1996), the fee of a full-service broker to buy and sell stocks is "typically 1.5% of the investment amount. And that's each way, meaning you pay 1.5% when you buy a stock and another 1.5% when you sell it, for a total cost of about 3.0%" (p. 131).


This example is correct because Ric Edelman's exact words are surrounded by quotation marks. If the citation notes (in parentheses) were used by themselves, they would not be sufficient, even though they're needed. All of the author's words must be enclosed in quotation marks so that it is clear which are the author's words and which are the student's.