Plagiarism is using someone else's work -- their words or ideas -- without giving them credit. Even accidental plagiarism can have big consequences, so you want to be careful to avoid it.
Avoid plagiarism by documenting your sources as you do your research and writing. If you use a quotation or refer to an idea, be sure to keep track of where you found it so that you can cite it properly.
Author, Initial. Initial. (Year). Title of article. Journal Title, volume number(issue number), pages. doi:________.
Example: an article with one author:
Bolger, N. (1990). Coping as a personality process: A prospective study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59(3), 525-537. doi:10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.115
An article with more than one author:
Duckworth, A. L., Quinn, P. D., & Tsukayama, E. (2012). What No Child Left Behind leaves behind: The roles of IQ and self-control in predicting standardized achievement test scores and report card grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(2), 439-451. doi:10.1037/a0026280
An article with more than seven authors (this one was written by nine people):
Javaras, K. N., Schaefer, S. M., van Reekum, C. M., Lapate, R. C., Greichar, L. L., Bachhuber, D. R., ... Davidson, R. J. (2012). Conscientiousness predicts greater recovery from negative emotion. Emotion, 12(5), 875-881. doi:10.1037/a0028105
An article where the database doesn't provide a DOI:
Larsen, J. M. (1975). Effects of increased teacher support on young children's learning. Child Development, 46(3), 631-637. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org
(In this example, I'm citing JSTOR rather than the journal's actual homepage because the journal's homepage only includes articles from 1990 onward and this article was published in 1975. If I really wanted to go the extra mile, I could look up the article in CrossRef and find out that it actually does have a DOI assigned.)
A few things to note:
To cite a book chapter, follow this basic format:
Author, Initial. Initial. (Year). Title of chapter. In Editors of book (Eds.), Book title (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.
Pastel R. H., Ritchie E. C. (1996). Mitigation of psychological effects of weapons of mass destruction. In: Ritchie E. L., Watson P. J., Friedman M. J. (Eds.), Interventions following mass violence and disasters: strategies for mental health practice (pp. 300-318). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Author, Initial. Initial. (Year). Title. Location: Publisher.
Watters, E. (2010). Crazy like us: The globalization of the American psyche. New York: Free Press.
For e-books, follow a similar pattern, but list information about where you accessed the book instead of publication information:
Fromm, G. F. (Ed.). (2011). Lost in transmission: Studies of trauma across generations. Retrieved from http://0-site.ebrary.com.libcat.uafs.edu
You should also include as much information as necessary for someone else to find the source (usually the URL).
Zook, M. (2012). Mapping racist tweets in response to President Obama's re-election [Web log post.] Retrieved from http://www.floatingsheep.org/2012/11/mapping-racist-tweets-in-response-to.html
(author or authors, year, pages)
Causes of insomnia include "a history of stress, recent grief, or mental disorders such as anxiety or depression" (Kahn & Fawcett, 2008, p. 252).
Kahn and Fawcett (2008) note that causes of insomnia include "a history of stress, recent grief, or mental disorders such as anxiety or depression" (p. 252).