Common Knowledge & Plagiarism If information is very well known to most people, it may be considered “common knowledge,” and it does not need to be cited. Ethan and Joel Coen directed the award-winning film No Country for Old Men. According to the Big Bang model, the initial explosion was produced when an infinitely hot, dense center referred to as a singularity, began to expand, giving rise to the particles that eventually formed into our universe. Nicotine is more addictive than heroin. State your reasoning for each one. Common knowledge is information that is accepted and known widely you do not need to cite it: Facts that can be easily verified. For each of the following examples, indicate whether it's common knowledge or needs to be cited 1. Your sentence about Java being class-based would fall under this category. Common knowledge does not need to be cited. Or JK Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter books. The energy of mixing per site for a binary polymer blend with differing degrees of polymerization can be described through the Flory-Huggins equation. Look at your information and think about whether or not an average person would know this information. In that case, a works-cited-list entry might not be needed. Incorrect. Keep in mind that coming up with a useful definition of some things is a challenge and deserves credit. Often, common knowledge does not need to be cited. You do not need to cite common knowledge. Learn how to recognize and avoid plagiarism. For example, you do not need to cite the following: Your own work. Common knowledge is knowledge that is known by everyone or nearly everyone, usually with reference to the community in which the term is used. For these reasons, they need to be cited. However, what actually constitutes common knowledge can sometimes be difficult to distinguish and will often depend on the audience and discipline. Examples of statements that need citation - each refers to work done by others, statistics, or specific information that would not be known by the average reader: Researchers have found that dispersants utilized to clean up oil spills can lead to lung damage when airborne particles of these dispersants combine with crude oil and are inhaled. This includes: Information most people would know … Secondhand smoke is more dangerous than smoking. Principles of Polymer Chemistry. Common knowledge includes facts that are known by a lot of people and can be found in many sources. Examples of information that would not need to be cited include: The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Here's a list of situations when your teacher would expect a citation: You make a specific claim that could be challenged--like London is the foggiest city in the world. A recent study done by scholars at the Brookings Institute found that the number of people living in poverty in America grew by 12.3 million between 2000 and 2010, so that by the end of 2010, 15% of the population was living under the poverty line. No. Common knowledge need not concern one specific subject, e.g., science or history. Common knowledge -- information quickly accessible to the reader of a given document. This is the intention of the changes, but the statement is still an opinion and needs to be supported with research. A reference to the practice of fair value accounting would be understood by a group of economists, but would need citation to an audience of non-experts. Even if you use a statistic that is consi… This is information that would not be known to the average reader, who would want to know where the figure was obtained. Retrieved from http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2011/11/03-poverty-kneebone-nadeau-berube.). This includes: To help you decide whether information can be considered common knowledge, ask yourself: Will I be asked where I obtained my information? Information qualifies as common knowledge when it can be found in a significant number of sources and is not considered to be controversial. When information is considered common knowledge, you do not need to cite it. For example: There is a movement in certain border states to have a … General descriptions of social customs, traditions, and observable world phenomena qualify as common knowledge, as well as popular expressions and sayings such as “the early bird gets the worm.” If it's your words, your opinion, your photo, or your graph, of course, you don't need to cite it. Broadly speaking, common knowledge refers to information that the average reader would accept as reliable without having to look it up. Example: You are writing a paper on nuclear power . Is it necessary to cite information that is common knowledge or widely accessible, like historical information or popular scientific information, e.g. Statement #2 needs citation; this information is very specific and may even be unknown to some physicists. Correct. You've read in Chapter 5 that common knowledge does not have to be cited in your scholarly work. What's Involved in Citing Correctly? You don’t need to cite a source when referencing common knowledge in your papers, as everyone knows it so it doesn’t usually need to be evidenced. Not everyone would know them but they are definitely found on more than one site... - • Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper. Statement #3 would not need citation to an audience of physics students but would need citation in a paper for a non-expert audience. Common Knowledge Criteria. (1953). The in-text citation provides a brief reference and points your reader to the complete citation. Don’t cite when you are stating common knowledge. http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2011/11/03-poverty-kneebone-nadeau-berube, Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research. Brookings Metropolitan Opportunity Series. 70% of the earth is covered in water? If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. Common knowledge need not concern one specific subject, e.g., science or history. (Source: Wang, H., Shi, YL, Major, D. and Yang, HL (2012, August). If your audience is local—your classroom, your school, your community—common knowledge might include things that the public at large does not know. Feedback The correct answer is: Borrowed … Statement #1 is common knowledge – the Big Bang theory is widely accepted among scientists and the term is used regularly in everyday speech. When you mention a work or author in passing, a works-cited-list entry is not needed. It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. It is information that does not need to be cited because it is readily found in other sources and is well known by the general public. A description of the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome would need to be cited for a composition in a general writing class but probably not need citation for an audience of graduate students in psychology. You may have heard people say that you do not have to cite your source when the information you include is “common knowledge.” But what is common knowledge? Which of the following pieces of information do you think are common knowledge, and which do you think would need to be cited? The names of nations or presidents of America do not need to be cited. Common knowledge is distinct from general knowledge. Hoyle used the term to mock the theory, which he disagreed with. Note: This equation is specific to the thermodynamics of macromolecular structures and would not be considered common knowledge by many scientists or engineers. You may have heard that you do not have to cite your sources if it is common knowledge. You do need to cite it in the body of the paper because, whether the information you are quoting or referring to is written or spoken, it still belongs to your professor, and in this case, it does not appear to be common knowledge. Common knowledge needs to be cited, while borrowed information does not. Common knowledge is another element that will take up space in your papers. I am writing a paper that talks about the treatment of women since the story of adam and eve but as this is my senior year of college i already have a ton of back knowledge on the subject that i dont need to look up. Does common knowledge, back knowledge about a subject need to be cited? Always cite statistics. For example, you do not need to cite the following: Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. basic information that can be found in a lot of places and is well-known 2 Usually, the reader should also be able to check or pursue the information in a variety of published sources. Photo from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863.jpg, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library One Washington Square | San José, CA 95192-0028 | 408-808-2000. The Big Bang theory posits that the universe began billions of years ago with an enormous explosion. Common Knowledge. Rather, common knowledge can be about a broad range of subjects, such as science, literature, history, and entertainment. One way to determine if information in your paper is considered common knowledge is to apply the “man-on-the-street” test. Usually, you do not need to cite common knowledge, but you need to be careful. Common knowledge is information your readers should already know, such as major events and common facts. Passing References. The re-emergence of concentrated poverty:  metropolitan trends in the 2000s. Information deemed known to most people forms the bulk of easy and medium-level questions in TV shows such … (2011, November 3). For example, in a social studies paper you would not need to cite that the White House is located in Washington, D.C. because that is something most people know, especially the audience reading your paper (e.g., your classmates or instructor). A statement reporting that 24% of children under the age of 18 live in   households headed by single mothers would need to be cited. Reference to specific dates, numbers, or facts the reader would not know unless s/he had done the research. Common knowledge is knowledge that is known by everyone or nearly everyone, usually with reference to the community in which the term is used. For example, you do not need to cite the following: Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. (Source:  Flory, P.J. But how do you know when something is common knowledge? Statement #2 needs citation; this information is very specific and may even be unknown to some physicists. Statistics obtained from sources such as the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For example, the capital of France is Paris. Broadly speaking, common knowledge refers to information that the average, educated reader would accept as reliable without having to look it up. More specific dates, quotes and ideas need to be proved. Common knowledge is used as the basis for a number of quizzes and quiz shows. The first part of the sentence is an observation widely accepted as fact, and the second part of the statement is a fact. Examples of common knowledge: January is the first month of the year. Common knowledge is defined as factual information that you’d expect most people to know. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.). Common knowledge does not need to be cited. Breathing smoke can be harmful to one’s health. Common knowledge information does not need to be cited on your reference page. But what does it mean to consider something common knowledge? There are more smoking-related fatalities than alcohol-related ones. Which of the following sentences is common knowledge and does not need to be supported? does not need to be cited. False. A genome is all the DNA in an organism, including its genes. The phrase “Big Bang” was coined by Sir Fred Hoyle, an English astronomer. I'm writing an essay explaining MLA format and I know that you don't have to cite things that are common knowledge but, are the following considered common knowledge? In general: (i) If a statement can be found in a very general encyclopedia (such as the Encyclopaedia Brittanica), it is considered common knowledge and does not need to be cited. As you are conducting your research on a topic, you will see the same facts repeated over and over. On the other hand, it would not appear in the bibliography, works cited, or reference page because the information is not retrievable. But here is where things become tricky: As you write papers in college and move deeper into your field of study, what counts as common knowledge becomes much less clear. You want to … Generally, publicly-known information (widely known, common knowledge, etc.) Which of the following sentences is common knowledge and does not need to be supported with documentation? The reader need not actually know the information, but must be able to check its accuracy quickly in any good library without citations from the author of the paper. On the other hand, as a rule of thumb, you do not need to cite if you would not know whom to possibly cite in the first place (possibly after a short literature search). Common knowledge is information generally known by most people. Common knowledge includes facts that are known by a lot of people and can be found in many sources. You should use evidence (citations) any time you make a claim that is not based on a well-known fact or common knowledge. If you write a multi-sentence paragraph that draws on material from one source, the source need not be cited after every single sentence unless the material is particularly contentious. Common Knowledge Things that are common knowledge do not require citation. Toxicology in Vitro, 26, 5, 746-751.  doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2012.03.011). In most citation styles, two parts are needed: An in-text citation Whenever you refer to the work of another person, you must indicate within the text where you got the information. If Water will freeze when temperatures fall below 32 degrees is an example of common knowledge and need not be cited? Yes, there are rules on what requires citation. This, however, excludes what is deemed to be common knowledge. Statement #1 is common knowledge – the Big Bang theory is widely accepted among scientists and the term is used regularly in everyday speech. So, if it’s known to educated people, or can be easily looked up, or appears in many sources, it is likely to be “common knowledge” and so does not need to be cited. In general, quick facts like historical dates or events are not cited because they are common knowledge. Lung epithelial cell death induced by oil-dispersant mixtures. What is common knowledge is sometimes difficult to discern. Common knowledge doesn't have to be cited; but if you know the source it doesn't hurt to cite it as the definition of common knowledge is subjective. Does the following need to be cited? c. Borrowed information consists of quotations from outside sources, and common knowledge refers to ideas that are paraphrased or summarized. (Source:  Kneebone, E., C. Nadeau and Berube, A. A source doesn't need to be cited if it's collaboratively written on the web like Wikipedia. Incorrect. Common knowledge includes facts that are known by a lot of people and can be found in many sources. d. Information classified as common knowledge is rarely easy to find, but borrowed information can always be located easily. For example, most … The heat and light of the sun result from nuclear energy. The award-winning film No Country for Old Men, history, and entertainment,! You know when something is common knowledge and does not need to be.! Things that the universe began billions of years ago with an enormous explosion widely as! Is another element that will take up space in your scholarly work its.. Cite information that is common knowledge is information your readers should already,! 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