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College-Level Research Tutorial

This tutorial models and and teaches users how to navigate and reflect on the research process.

Module 4 Introduction

This module introduces how citations are used to document and credit people's work. Citing sources correctly is one way scholars avoid plagiarism, but citations also help them find information, notice connections between sources, and show respect for fellow researchers. The content and activities on this page are designed to develop the knowledge and skills that are key to this stage of college-level research:


  • Individual sources are part of a larger network of research on similar topics
  • We cite to acknowledge other people's ideas and labor


  • Recognizing citation elements as they appear in sources and search tools
  • Working ethically with other peoples' ideas

Practical Skills-4

Watch the three videos: 1. Keeping track of the conversation with citations, 2. When to cite, and 3.Putting sources in conversation. Use the arrow commands below the media player to move on to the next video.


Try it Out-4: Citation Hunt

Citation parts help us identify different voices and perspectives in the broader conversation about a subject. For example, publication dates can tell us who shared an idea or finding first. Sometimes it can be challenging to find citation details because each source and search tools display this information differently. Part of college-level research is keeping track of citation information and sharing it with readers. 

Citation Hunt

Review the source or record linked in each question. Fill in the blanks with the correct citation information for each source. Use the "Show Solution"  button to see if you found the right answer.


21st Century Skills-4: Plagiarism as Oppression

Part of college-level research is communicating to your audience where you got your information. Citations help you do this. Information has value, and it's considered unethical to use someone else's words or ideas without giving them proper credit. We call this plagiarism. At best, failing to distinguish your ideas from the work of others can ruin your credibility. At worst, plagiarism can perpetuate systems of oppression like racism and gender-based bias.

1. Follow the Thread

Download and read the Twitter (aka X) thread that that is transcribed in the document linked in this box. In this series of related posts, Dr. Samantha Ege, a professional Musicologist and pianist, shares her experience with having her work plagiarized by a powerful colleague. 

2. Reflect or Discuss

Discuss with classmates or reflect on your own

  • How is what Rodreguez King-Dorset did different from summarizing or paraphrasing Samantha Ege's work?
  • What are some strategies you could use to avoid plagiarism in your writing and research?

UWM College-level Research Tutorial 2020 by Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.