PLAGIARISM and HOW TO AVOID IT. A Workshop from the Writing Support Center . What Exactly Is Plagiarism?. Plagiarism is generally defined as representing another person’s words or ideas as your own by omitting proper citations and/or quotation marks. .
A Workshop from the Writing Support Center
When you use someone else’s:
You must give credit to the source.
COMMON KNOWLEDGE = GENERAL INFORMATION THAT CAN BE FOUND IN MANY SOURCES
Each of the following is considered plagiarism:
1. Read the passage until its meaning is clear.
2. Close the book and restate the main point and any important details in your own words.
3. Check your version with the original to ensure its accuracy and originality.
4. Quote any borrowed phrases or terminology.
5. Write your source next to the paraphrase
Original Version* cited/quoted properly:
“If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for
linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists”
(Davis, 2005, p. 28).
Davis (2005) observed that the existence of a signing ape unsettled
linguists and startled animal behaviorists.
When they learned of an ape’s ability to use sign
language, both linguists and animal behaviorists were taken
by surprise (Davis, 2005).
*This slide directly quoted from D. Hacker’s A Writer’s Reference , 2003, p. 385
“Students frequently overuse direct quotations 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. Writing Research Papers. 2nd
ed. (1976): 46-47.
Students often rely too heavily on direct quotations in
their research papers when, in fact, roughly 90% of one’s
paper should be paraphrased. One suggested remedy is
to paraphrase while note-taking during research (Lester, 1976).
A POSSIBLE SUMMARY:
Students should paraphrase as much as possible during
note-taking to avoid over-quoting in their research papers (Lester,
WHERE SHOULD WE PLACE CITATIONS IN THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE? cited/quoted properly:
Since 1986, four children have been attacked in California. One of these attacks was serious enough to prompt officials to place Caspers Wilderness Park off-limits to children. “In July 1997 alone, two attacks on children, one fatal, occurred in different national parks in Colorado.”
Since 1986, four children have been attacked in California (“Mountain,” 2005). One of these attacks was serious enough to prompt officials to place Caspers Wilderness Park off-limit to children (Tran, 2001). “In July 1997 alone, two attacks on children, one fatal, occurred in different national parks in Colorado” (McPhee, 1998, p. 3).
→Trust your own voice and paraphrase consistently throughout your paper. As you do so, your paraphrasing will improve. In addition, feel free to seek assistance from GSEP’s Writing Support Center.
→As long as you’re paraphrasing, analyzing and discussing the material adequately, you needn’t worry about over-citing. In fact, consistent citing is a sign of responsible scholarship. However, be sure not to over-quote.
When in doubt, cite the source; it’s always best to err on the side of being too careful rather than not being careful enough.