Universiteit Leiden

nl en


When writing a paper or thesis you are bound by the principles of academic integrity. There are strict rules concerning plagiarism. Citing your sources right is important to prevent it. But how do you read a reference and how to cite right?

Cite Them Right

Citing your sources.

In its most elementary definition plagiarism is taking someone else’s work, words or ideas, and presenting it as your own. If you refer to or paraphrase another’s work, you need to cite them. The main stumbling blocks seem to be when to cite. When something is considered common knowledge you do not need to cite. For your audience it needs to be clear that it is common knowledge. 

In this tutorial you learn about integrity at Leiden University.

Start tutorial

To avoid plagiarism you need to cite the sources you used. You can use in-text citations or footnotes. Depending on your field, study and own personal preference, you can adopt one citation style. For example: MLA (Modern Language Association) or CMS (Chicago Manual of Style). The most important thing about using a citation style is consistency. Do not mix up the different styles and rules! Read more about: paraphrasing and incorporating literature

Cite Them Right Online (CTRO) is a comprehensive guide to referencing just about any source: books, journal articles, websites, twitter posts, sacred texts, government publications and much more. The emphasis is on known citation styles, such as APA, Chicago, Harvard and Vancouver. 

In the Cite them right tutorial you learn about plagiarism and how to avoid it. If you want to save your results you need to make an account. 

Start tutorial

This video can not be shown because you did not accept cookies.

You can leave our website to view this video.

It is not necessary to collect the sources you used manually. Instead, you can use reference managers (like EndNote, Mendeley) to organise your sources from the start. This way you can easily cite them later. You can use a reference manager to save literature, cite and to save notes. You can export the bibliographic data from Google Scholar, the catalogue and other databases.

Learn more about reference managers in this tutorial.

Start tutorial

When writing your paper, outlining, structuring, and not panicking will all help, as will knowing that you do not have to write it perfectly in the first draft. If you are stuck or need more support have a look at the tutorials, Leiden University’s tips for good academic writing or make an appointment at the University Writing Center.
These tutorials can help you with writing:

This website uses cookies.