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Dance Research Guide

Avoiding Plagiarism

UNC Charlotte students should understand and abide by the University’s policy on academic integrity.


What is Plagiarism?

  • "In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source."
  • "This definition applies to texts published in print or online, to manuscripts, and to the work of other student writers."
  • "A student who attempts (even if clumsily) to identify and credit his or her source, but who misuses a specific citation format or incorrectly uses quotation marks or other forms of identifying material taken from other sources, has not plagiarized. Instead, such a student should be considered to have failed to cite and document sources appropriately."

From the Council of Writing Program Administrators’: Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices.

Citation & Writing Guides


Many article databases and our library catalog will format citations for you. Use these automatic citations to save time, but check to make sure they are complete and accurate.

Here are some sites with useful information on MLA and APA Citation Styles.

Finding Sources Through Citations

Citing Performances

Citing Online Videos in MLA

Video title. Director's first and last name. Lead performers' first and last names.

Distributor, Year. Name of Web Site. Web. Date Retrieved.


Thriller. Dir. John Landis. Perf. Michael Jackson.  Optimum Productions, 1983.

YouTube. Web. 29 June 2009.

Citing DVDs in MLA

Movie title. Director's first and last name. Lead performers' first and last names. DVD publisher,

Original release year. Media format.


Divergent. Dir. Neil Burger. Perf. Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet.

Summit Entertainment, 2014. DVD.

Citing a Live Performance in MLA

Title of work. By author or composer's name. Choreographer. Performer. The ballet company. The theater and location. Date of the performance. Medium (Performance)


"Ocean's Kingdom." By Paul McCartney. Chor. Peter Martins. New York City Ballet. David. H. Koch Theater, New York. 22 Sept. 2011. Performance.

"Anaphaza." Chor. Ohad Naharin. Batsheva Dance Company. New York State Theater, New York. 20 July 2002.

Research Tips

Crafting Your Search


  1. Brainstorm: Write down initial search term ideas. Add/change this list as you search. If you are a visual thinker, try using a method like concept mapping.


  2. Preliminary research: You may need to narrow or broaden your search to find things related to your topic.


  3. Scholarly sources: Scholarly articles are usually not freely available online and cannot be found using Google so use the library databases instead. 


  4. Books vs. Articles: Books are helpful for background information and for familiarizing yourself with a topic. Articles can provide more current information and typically address a narrower piece of a topic.


  5. Search log: Keep track of which sources and search terms work best for your topic. 


  6. Citations: Cite as you go. If you need the article or book again you will have all of the information you need to find it.
    1. EndNote is a bibliographic citation management software that the university subscribes to. Take EndNote101 to learn more.
    2. Zotero is a free citation management tool that lets you save articles, websites, and other materials. There are tutorials for getting starting. 

Annotated Bibliography

To write an annotation, you will comment, in paragraph form, on the following elements:

Content—What's the book about? Is it relevant to your research?

Purpose-—What's it for? Why was this book written?

Methods used to collect data—Where did the information come from?

Usefulness —What does it do for your research?

Reliability —Is the information accurate?

Authority—Is it written by someone who has the expertise to author the information?

Currency—Is it new? Is it up-to-date for the topic?

Scope/Coverage/Limitations—What does it cover? What does the author state that he or she will cover? What doesn't the book/article provide that would be helpful?

Arrangement—How is the book organized? Are there any special "added-value" features?

Ease of use—Can a "real person" use this book? What reading level is the book?

Sample annotation:

List, Carla J. Information Research. Dubuque, la.: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., 2002.


In this book, Carla List, an award-winning teacher and librarian, defines and describes information and provides step-by-step instruction on doing research. In seven chapters, she covers the organization of information, information technology, and the presentation, analysis, evaluation, and citation of information. A bibliography, glossary, and index are included. This book is aimed at the college-level student and is useful to the inexperienced researcher.

Burkhardt, Joanna M., Mary C. MacDonald, and Andrée J. Rathemacher. Teaching Information Literacy: 35 Practical, Standards-based Exercises for College Students. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003, pp. 57-58 (Exercise 25).

Evaluating Websites


Who wrote the page?  What organization sponsored the page? Can you verify the author's credentials?


What is the purpose of the page?  Who is the intended audience? Websites can be for information or sales purposes, sometimes both.


Is the information up to date?  Is the webpage dated?  Recent updates do not necessarily indicate current information.


Relates to purpose.  Is the intent of the website to inform or persuade?  Are facts completely and accurately cited?


Does the author provide footnotes or citations for the information provided?

Writing Resources