Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is an act of fraud that can include one or all of the following:

  • Copying an unfair amount of content.
  • Passing off someone else’s work as your own.
  • Using content without crediting the source.

Three simple things you can do to avoid plagiarism:

1. Analyze and Interpret the content you’re using. Don’t just find the information, demonstrate to your teachers that you understand the concepts and, in your own words, explain the significance of those concepts and why they’re important to the point you’re trying to make in your paper.

2. Keep track of your information sources. While you’re researching, making notes, etc. keep track of where the content came from and who wrote or published that content.

3. Cite your sources. When an idea or the expression of that idea doesn’t belong to you, quote the phrase and identify the author and the source of the content at the end of the sentence and on a Works Cited page at the end of your paper.

When to Quote and/or Cite Sources

If the ideas and expression of those ideas belong to you, they don’t have to be Quoted or Cited.

Common Knowledge doesn’t have to be Quoted or Cited.

If you’re summarizing someone else’s words Cite.

Facts have to be Quoted and Cited.

Facts Proven by Research have to be Quoted and Cited.

General Rule: If it’s not in your words: Quote & Cite.

> Use Quotations

Scenario 1

Quote material when you believe that the way the author has expressed an idea is the most effective way to communicate the point you want to make.

  • Identify the Source (Name Author & Text), “Quote” from it and Cite it (Author’s Last Name, Page Number of Source).

In his feature article ‘The Continued Evolution of Social Media’, Martin Brens stated that “social media has not yet reached its peak, it will continue to evolve and impact our lives” (Brens, 37).

Scenario 2

Quote material when a quotation the author has included supports the point you’re trying to make.

  • Identify the Source (Name of Author & Text), “Quote” the ‘Quotation’ and Cite it (Author’s Last Name, Page Number of Source).

In his feature article ‘The Continued Evolution of Social Media’, Martin Brens interviewed the chief programmer of a social media start-up who said thatthe rapid speed at which technology is evolving will allow us to make instantaneous updates to our software platform” (Brens, 39).

Scenario 3

If you’re using more than a complete sentence or more than two lines of the author’s material…

  • Separate your text from the author’s material,
  • Reduce the Font Size and Indent the author’s material,
  • Identify the Source (Name of Author & Text) but Don’t use “Quotations” of Cite.

In his feature article, ‘The Continued Evolution of Social Media’, Martin Brens writes that:

        Social Media didn’t begin with today’s most popular networking sites, the concept of

          social media has been around since the dawn of the internet. As each new social

          media agent is introduced, they often try to add their own spin to the concept. In

          many regards, parallels can be drawn between this and the biological evolution.  

Brens makes a very interesting and important point. The significance of his research…

 

> Citing Sources

In the text of your paper, end the sentence where you’ve placed a quote with a Citation. Mention the Author of the Material and the Page where the Quote came from. Put this information in (Brackets) and place the Period to finish the sentence after the citation.

(Brens, 24).

Include these lists at the end of your paper:

Works Cited: a list of the sources you cited in your paper.

Bibliography: a list of the sources you consulted while researching your paper.

Your teacher may have asked you to cite using APA, MLA or Chicago Style formats to cite your work. These 3 ‘Citation Guides’ are available below.