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What is common knowledge?
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?
Broadly speaking, common knowledge refers to information that the average, educated reader would accept as reliable without having to look it up. This includes:
However, what may be common knowledge in one culture, nation, academic discipline or peer group may not be common knowledge in another.
How do I determine if the information I am using is common knowledge?
To help you decide whether information can be considered common knowledge, ask yourself: