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Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the use of source material without giving proper credit to the author. In other words, plagiarism is either knowingly or unknowingly representing someone else’s words or ideas as your own. Improperly documenting source material, though a less severe offense, is still technically plagiarism and represents academic dishonesty. This guide provides some ways to avoid inadvertant plagiarism and principles to follow as you incorporate source material into your writing.

Any information that is not common knowledge and did not come from you MUST be appropriately documented.

The Don't's and Do's that will help you avoid plagiarism (or "Academic Dishonesty")

1) DON'T include "direct borrowings" of words from a source inside your own writing without putting those words inside quotation marks. Do ALWAYS enclose direct borrowings inside quotation marks.
--example 1
--example 2
--example 3
--example 4

2) DON'T include a paraphrase that is too close to the phrasing of the original source. Do paraphrase source material in your own words.

3) DON'T include a paraphrase, direct borrowing or other information that is not common knowledge in your text that you have failed to "document" correctly with an in-text citation and Works Cited or Reference page entry. Do document ALL sources used in your text.
--example 1
--example 2

4) DON'T alter the original text; Quote EXACTLY. Do quote exactly.
(unless you clearly indicate cut or added text)

See also these guides related to paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism:
Successful vs. Unsuccessful Paraphrases 
How to Paraphrase a Source




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