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Academic Integrity for Students

Citing Sources to Avoid Plagiarism

APA is Assiniboine's official citing style. It allows students to avoid plagiarism by citing their sources, and to complete their coursework with academic integrity.

Assiniboine's citing standard is what's called a “student” level, which focuses on basic citations and references in essays, rather than writing original research for publication. This practice also helps avoid "citation fixation" (Stephens, 2014) and "citation obsession" (Schick, 2011), which in turn contribute to negative, punitive, and reactive rule compliance cultures (Bertram Gallant, 2008) that academic integrity research recommends avoiding. 

Students at a community college level aren't expected or required to know or use what APA calls “professional” level writing skills, which would be suitable at a graduate university level.

APA Citing in Practice

The author last names and dates which make up the citations on the pages of this guide, along with their corresponding references on the references page, are examples of citing in APA style. These let you know, as the reader, what sources were used in the research for this guide, as well as where to find them for yourself. To use these sources without crediting them using both a citation and reference would be plagiarism, whether the exact wording was used, or any amount of words were changed.

The same principle will apply to many written assignments that you do as an Assiniboine student. It may also apply to not only written sources that you have used, but:

  • graphics
  • coding
  • formulas
  • images
  • sound clips
  • video clips
  • interviews
  • presentations
  • or any other material which is not your own.

Learning this type of academic skill is not easy or fast, and Assiniboine staff and faculty will work with you to develop this skill over time. This could be in the form of:

  • online resources
  • in-class workshops
  • individual appointments with support staff


The Assiniboine Library's APA citing guide is a good place to start building your citing skills.