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Guide to the Research Process: 5a. Plagiarism
This guide provides an introduction to the skills needed to conduct research, with particular reference to the field of education.
"In an instructional setting, plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately uses someone else's language, ideas, or other original (not common knowledge) material without acknowledging its source." (Council of Writing Program Administrators)
It is plagiarism when you:
present the words or ideas of someone else as your own without proper acknowledgement
copy large sections of text without quotation marks or proper citation
summarize or paraphrase words or ideas of someone else without citing them
buy or use a paper written by someone else
cut and paste passages from the Web, a book, or an article and insert them in your paper without citing them
copy any type of multimedia (graphics, audio, video), computer programs, music, graphs, or charts from someone else without giving the original creator credit
What is not Plagiarism
It is not plagiarism to use information without citing:
when that information is "common knowledge" - factual information in the public domain; information that can be easily looked up in standard reference works
when you are writing about your own experiences, observations, opinions, conclusions, etc.
when you are reporting the results of your own research
Types of Plagiarism
copying a friend's work
buying or borrowing papers
cutting and pasting blocks of text from electronic sources without documenting
borrowing phrases and clauses from the original source and weaving into your own work without using quotation marks or citing the source
Plagiarism: Don't Do It
Posted with permission from Washburn University.
To avoid plagiarizing someone else words or ideas, make sure you:
take careful notes when you are researching and write down all the bibliographical information for the source, including the page numbers
paraphrase the original text in your own words. Be sure you are not just rearranging phrases or replacing a couple of words
use quotation marks or indent text that has been taken directly from the original source
cite every source of information you use to write your paper unless it is common knowledge or the results of your own research. This includes facts, figures, and statistics, as well as opinions and arguments
learn the referencing style used in your discipline
Created by the Vaughan Memorial Library at Acadia University, this tutorial suggests that researching ethically is also researching efficiently. You will not only learn how to avoid plagiarism, but you’ll also pick up some good research tips too.