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SW 402: Information Literacy for Social Work : APA & Avoiding Plagiarism

Introduce and reinforce the skills you'll need to be an information-savvy Social Worker and/or successfully complete the ILOP.

In This Section...

Read through the presentations and handouts in this section (or in Moodle) in order to familiarize yourself with when and how to ethically cite your sources using the APA style.  Once you've read through the material, go to Moodle, and complete the Part 3 activity.

Writing Support

The Writing Center is ultimately your best resource for help on using citation styles and avoiding plagiarism.  There are a variety of ways to contact them or set up an appointment:

  • By calling 617-521-2479
  • Visiting the Writing Center on the Ground Floor of Lefavour Hall
  • Using the online form to schedule an appointment 

Or get started exploring the Writing Center's services and resources now.

What We Mean By "APA"

The American Psychological Association (APA) style is a system of guidelines for writing and formatting manuscripts to facilitate clear communication.  As a graduate student, you will use the APA style most often to format your citations and reference lists.

- Encyclopedia of Research Design


"Claiming as your own another person’s language, ideas, images, or other original materials"

- The Writing Center


Paraphrasing is often defined as putting a passage from an author into “your own words.”  

To successfully paraphrase, consider following these steps from the University of Wisconsin Madison's Writing Center:

  • Read the text you want to paraphrase several times until you feel that you understand it and can use your own words to restate it to someone else. Then, look away from the original and rewrite the text in your own words.

  • Take abbreviated notes; set the notes aside; then paraphrase from the notes a day or so later, or when you draft.