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Going to the Source:

A resource provided by collaboration between the College Libraries, the Writing Center, and the Faculty


Going to the


A Guide to
Academic Integrity and Attribution
at Vassar College


This guide may help you in the following and similar situations:

  • you're new to college-level work
  • a professor asks you to assess or join a scholarly conversation and you don't know how to do so
  • you're consumed with anxiety that a professor will not think your work is original
  • you're not sure how to quote or summarize a source
  • you have a paper due tomorrow but haven't started it because you are overwhelmed with a personal crisis, so you're tempted to cut and paste from the Internet
  • a classmate asks to borrow your problem set "just to double check my own work," and you aren't sure what to do
  • you've been called before the Academic Panel for plagiarism and don't know what that means or what the implications are


This guide does not provide detailed instructions on citation styles in different fields. As noted in Part V, disciplinary forms vary; more information is available at, which provides links to important handbooks and style manuals, both online and in print, as well as additional information about citation standards.

None of this can substitute for conversation with your professors.
Their job is to help you learn and answer your questions. When in doubt, ASK!


Rebecca Edwards, Professor of History on the Eloise Ellery Chair
Matt Schultz, Director, Vassar Writing Center
Debra Bucher, Head of Research Services, Vassar College Library
David T. Bradley, Associate Professor of Physics

March 2016