Rules for Working with Authority


Avoiding allegations of plagiarism requires knowing when to cite. Here are important rules and suggestions to follow when working with authority:

  1. Acknowledge direct use of someone else's words.
  2. Acknowledge any paraphrase of someone's else's words.
  3. Acknowledge direct use of someone else's idea.

Careful scholarship, which is especially important in an academic setting, requires adhering to two additional rules:

  1. Acknowledge a source when your own analysis or conclusion builds on that source.
  2. Acknowledge a source when your idea about a case came from a source other than the case itself.

Electronic Databases

Material obtained through any source must be attributed, including material obtained from electronic databases such as LexisNexis®; Westlaw®; and the Internet. Review the ALWD Citation Manual Rules 38, 39, and 40, and The Bluebook 17.3 for the rules on properly citing electronic sources.