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WR 308 (Neary) - Fall 2018

Advanced Research Writing

Definitions

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, plagiarism is:

  1. The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft.
  2. A particular idea, piece of writing, design, etc., which has been plagiarized; an act or product of plagiary.

"plagiarism, n.". OED Online, Oxford University Press, Sept. 2016, www.oed.com.cupdx.idm.oclc.org/ view/Entry/144939. Accessed 27 Sept. 2016.

According to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, plagiarize means:

  1. to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source
  2. to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

"plagiarize, v." Merriam-Webster Online, Merriam-Webster, Inc., www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarize. Accessed 27 Sept. 2016.

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More Information About Plagiarism

Plagiarism isn't always intentional. Often, it happens accidentally through improper citation.

Here are some common types of plagiarism:

  • directly copy someone else's words and use them as if they were your own
  • re-use your own work
  • mix words, phrases, or ideas from uncited sources with your own words
  • mix words, phrases, or ideas from cited sources with uncited sources
  • rewrite, or paraphrase, someone else's work without proper credit
  • incorrectly or only partially credit a source
  • cite the wrong source

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite your sources. Here are some tips:

  • keep track of your sources in a method that works for you
    examples: annotated bibliography, parenthetical notes in an outline, index cards, whatever is best for you
  • know when to cite a source
    Here are some questions to help you decide:
    1. Did you think of the idea? Yes → Do not need to cite anything. No→ Go on to question #2.
    2. Is the idea common knowledge? Yes → Do not need to cite anything. No → Cite the source.
    (Harris 20)
  • know what sources to cite
    Here's a useful table:
    What to Cite
    You must cite someone else's
    words you quote
    words you summarize
    words you paraphrase
    idea (interpretation, opinion, conclusion)
    data
    graph
    photograph
    drawing
    table of information
    experiment
    example
    unique concept
    apt phrase
    expression of common knowledge
    solution to a problem
    speech
    video source (film, TV, etc.)
    the structure or sequencing of facts, ideas, or arguments
    You do not have to cite your own
    words
    idea (interpretation, opinion, conclusion)
    data
    graph
    photograph
    drawing
    table of information
    experiment
    example
    unique concept
    apt phrase
    expression of common knowledge
    solution to a problem
     
     
     
     
    (table from Harris 18)
  • double-check the citation and style guide information
    Such as: APA, MLA, Chicago - check your syllabus, assignment instructions, and/or professor.
    Not sure how to cite something? Review information from the MLA Citations tab, or ask a professor, librarian, or tutor at the Writing Center.

Harris, Robert. A. Using Sources Effectively: Strengthening Your Writing and Avoiding Plagiarism. Pyrczak Publishing, 2002.

"Plagiarism: How to Avoid It." YouTube. YouTube, uploaded by Bainbridge State College, 5 Jan. 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q0NlWcTq1Y

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