Q. What is self-plagiarism? How do I cite myself?


What is self-plagiarism?

  • "Self-plagiarism is the practice of presenting one's own previously published work as though it were new." (The APA Publication Manual, 6th ed. p. 170)
  • Generally, students are not supposed to turn in old assignment material or papers for new assignments. 

So when might a person need to cite one's self on the Reference page?

The instances in which you may need to cite yourself: 

  • You are repeating something you wrote in a work you had published.
  • You are repeating something you wrote in a work that you have not formally published, but that you have submitted for a class.

In the first scenario, it is rather obvious that you should cite something that has been published somewhere, even if it was something that you wrote yourself.

The second scenario is less obvious. In situations where you want to re-use some of your old material for a new paper, you have to cite yourself as if you are the author of an "unpublished paper." However, students are not to turn in old assignment material for new assignments. 

But if, in a very rare instance, you needed to cite yourself it would look something like this:

Smith, J. (2016). Title of really awesome paper that I wrote. Unpublished manuscript, Baker College. 

To find information about APA citation, visit the APA Help guide.

Thank you for using ASK US. Contact your campus librarians if you need further information.


  • Last Updated Jan 30, 2018
  • Views 16863
  • Answered By Baker Librarians

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