Avoiding Plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is:
  • Using someone else’s words or ideas without giving them credit
  • Presenting someone else’s ideas as your own
  • Asking someone else to write your paper
  • Borrowing someone else’s paper and using it as your own
  • Purchasing or downloading papers from the internet.  Avoid plagiarism by using direct quotations, paraphrasing, or summarizing. Remember, always cite sources!
Citing sources: 
  • When using Quotes, Summaries, or  Paraphrases ⇒ When using Facts that are not  widely known ⇒ When using Graphs, Charts, Images,  or other Statistical Information from  a source To paraphrase…
  • Locate the individual statements or  major idea units in the original
  • Change the order of major ideas,  maintaining the logical connections  among them
  • Substitute synonyms for words in  the original, making sure the  language in your paraphrase is  appropriate for your audience ⇒ Combine or divide sentences as  necessary
  • When using an Idea from another source ⇒ When using Judgments and Opinions of others
  • When using Video and Sound
  • Compare the meaning of the paraphrase to the  original to ensure that the rewording is  sufficient and the meaning has been preserved
  • Weave the paraphrase into your essay in  accordance with your rhetorical purpose
  • Document the paraphrase

For more strategies: Reading and Writing in the Academic Community, 3rd edition (page 67), by Mary Lynch Kennedy and Hadley M. Smith            

Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. --Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976(: 46-47. )
  • When taking notes, many students often use too many direct quotes. This excessive use of quotation commonly carries over into the research paper itself. James D. Lester recommends that only 10% of a research paper should consist of quotes. In order to help limit the number of direct quotations used in a paper, he suggests that students limit the amount of quotations they include in their notes (Lester 46-47).



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