Avoid Plagarism

Topics: Citation, Bibliography, Parenthetical referencing Pages: 5 (1443 words) Published: May 24, 2014
Become a Better Writer: Understand and Avoid Plagiarism
Gretchen F. Thomas
Liberty University

This text explores plagiarism in a form that provides the reader a better understanding of the term. Although many have learned of plagiarism, many have not fully grasped in detail what the term means. Avoiding plagiarism is possible. After reading this text the reader will understand intentional and unintentional plagiarism, the importance of proper citations within the document body as well as the reference page, direct quoting, paraphrasing and expressing anothers ideas. Common knowledge and whether to over-cite or under-site also is discussed.

Key words: plagiarism, paraphrasing

Become a Better Writer: Understand and Avoid Plagiarism
What is Plagiarism? Depending on one’s level of education, this definition could bring about different responses. To the high school student, plagiarism could simply mean copying another person’s work and turning it in as original data. Although that is somewhat true, at an undergraduate and graduate level, a more in depth definition becomes relevant and necessary to avoid harsh consequences. According to The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (2012), to plagiarize means “the reproduction or appropriation of someone elses work without proper attribution; passing off as one's own the work of someone else” (‘What is Plagiarism?’, 2012, para.2). Without knowing, anyone can plagiarize and suffer great consequences of doing so. In this text I will address why students plagiarize intentionally or unintentionally; the importance of citing sources properly; also specific details to be mindful of when quoting, paraphrasing and expressing a non-original ideas within a text. Finally I will address a rather confusing topic; whether it’s better to over cite or under cite when relating another ideas and an original.

An assignment has to be turned in in an hour and a student needs three paragraphs to meet assignment requirements. In this scenario, students would easily copy and paste a few sentences here and there and follow that information with an original thought. Although the students’ intentions are to fulfill the assignment requirements, due to their lack of time preparation and lack of the use of in text citation, they have committed plagiarism. It does not matter if one fails properly cite information, whether intentional or unintentional, it’s against the law (Plagiarism Prevention for Students, 2008). However both intentional and unintentional plagiarism need to be avoided, doing so can be difficult when you are unaware.

Plagiarism.org suggests that students plan their paper by “consulting with the instructor and taking effective notes’’ (Preventing Plagiarism When Writing, 2012, para. 3). In doing so, there should be ample time to effectively and accurately complete each assignment.

Whether citing with in a text or in a works cited or bibliography page, depending on the style of paper being written, it is important to properly cite all material. In text citations vary with the style of paper being written. When writing an APA (American Psychological Association) formatted paper, the Perdue Online Writing Lab (OWL, 2012, para. 1) suggests that in text sources be written in the “author-date” format. An example of this would include the following: (OWL, 2012) and (Jones, 1998). Citing this information in any way other than the “author-date” (OWL, 2012) format for APA also would be plagiarism.

Correct citation lets the reader know where to find more about the topic, by directing them to a properly cited bibliography page. Within the bibliography page under the APA format, the author’s last name would be listed first, followed by their initials, (publication date). , title of work, and the page numbers the specific article can be found on. Although citing only first and last name may seem copacetic, any citation other than the required format would be plagiarism. For...

Bibliography: Why Should I Cite Sources? (n.d.) Retrieved November 20, 2012, from http://plagiarism.org/citing-sources/whats-a-citation
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