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Avoiding Plagiarism

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Using the Work of Others
There are three ways to incorporate the work of others into your writing - all of which should be cited:

  • quoting– using their words exactly
  • paraphrasing - using your OWN words to reiterate ideas  - not just rephrasing
  • summarizing – recapping big ideas, comparing approaches

Be Organized

  • keep track of ALL sources you consult (books, articles, web pages, etc.)
  • take good notes
  • keep track of HOW you will use the sources (quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing)
    • do not copy and paste directly into your paper

Why Cite Your Sources

  • provide evidence or support for your argument
  • let your reader know where you’ve been/show your history with a topic
  • acknowledge intellectual property of others

What to Cite

  • words or phrases
  • ideas or concepts
  • images, illustrations, graphs, etc.

What Not to Cite

  • common knowledge
    • what anyone in your audience can be expected to know
    • undisputed information
  • personal experiences
  • when in doubt, cite!

How to Cite
There are three major documentation forms:

  • parenthetical references/in-line citations
  • footnotes
  • endnotes

And thousands of styles:

  • APA  (American Psychological Association)
  • MLA  (Modern Language Association)
  • Chicago
  • Turabian

Consult your professor about the style preferred for each course/assignment.

For additional information on these topics visit the Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab)


Last updated:
September 9, 2015