When Credit Is Due

Contributor: Jay Gregorio. Lesson ID: 13260

Almost everything we research online generates answers from multiple sources. How do we give credit for the ideas, images, and words that we find? Learn how to give credit when it's due!


Computer Science

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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There are a lot of misconceptions about what copyright means, which makes it even more confusing for a lot of people.

  • Are you one of them?

Find out with this quick true-false quiz!

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  • How did you do?

There are many other situations where using copyright-protected information can seem tricky.

The goal of today's lesson is to unpack the idea of citing sources and giving credit when credit is due!

By now, you have surely heard the term plagiarism.

Teachers, in particular, have likely drilled into you the importance of not stealing another's ideas and passing them off as your own.

  • But what does that really mean?
  • And how can you share those ideas properly?

In this lesson, you will discover ways to protect yourself from plagiarism while still promoting others' creative work by citing sources and giving credit the right way!

Giving Proper Citations

A citation is a way to let your readers know that some of the information in your writing came from another author.

This is a way to recognize the author while also providing your readers with more details about the source of information, including:

  • the author's information
  • the title of the work
  • the name and location of the publishing company
  • the date it was published

Learn more about how to properly cite material you find online in Citation for Beginners from Imagine Easy Solutions:

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  • What types of things can you include in your writing as long as you properly cite them?


This is when you copy a source word-for-word and, therefore, requires quotation marks.


"Peace is more important than all justice, and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace."


A summary is when you take an original text and simply create a shortened version with the same concepts and ideas.


Original Text:

Studying is important because it is essential for a person to develop a complete education and provides students with the opportunity to develop study habits, time management skills, and self-discipline. This helps to increase the student's ability to comprehend the material.


Studying is important because it develops study habits, management skills, and self-discipline.


This is when you take someone else's words or ideas and rewrite them in your own words, possibly including your own ideas as well.


Original Text:

"The strategic, active engagement of students in opportunities to learn through doing, and reflection on those activities, which empowers them to apply their theoretical knowledge to practical endeavors in a multitude of settings inside and outside of the classroom."


Students are empowered to apply their knowledge to everyday life when they are actively engaged in doing and reflecting on activities in school.

Factual Information

All facts should be cited unless it is common knowledge.


No citation needed:

The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest in the world.

Citation needed:

Deforestation is responsible for 80% of the Amazon's wildlife extinction.

Why Citation Is Important

  • If you cite a lot of sources, does that make your writing less original?

The answer is no. It gives your reader an opportunity to compare your work with others. In fact, doing this highlights how unique your work is compared to others!

Citing sources is important because it recognizes the original author of the work or idea that you are using. However, there are other benefits, including:

  • giving your readers a chance to look into the sources you used
  • proving you have thoroughly researched your topic with these sources
  • adding credibility to your work because you considered all these sources

How to Cite Sources, from EasyBib, provides examples of different citation formats as well as a Citation Generator.

Proper citation not only shares important information about material inlcuded in your work, it also shares a lot about you!

A properly cited project or paper conveys that you recognize the value attached to the ideas of others as well as the value in your own work.

Continue in the Got It? section to review the fundamentals of citing sources.

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