How Do I Know if I'm Plagiarizing?

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  • How Do I Know if I'm

    PLAGIARIZING?The citation pros at Scribendi.comteach you how to avoid plagiarism inyour academic work.F

    Come see me

    after class.

    - Professor D.

  • The repercussions of PLAGIARISM are serious.

    They can include a failing grade, recorded removalfrom class, academic probation, or even expulsion.

    PLAGIARISM really is that serious, which is whyyou need to learn the following rules for how toavoid it in your academic work.

  • TYPE 1: TheDirectCopy

    Directly lifting a segment of text (beit a phrase, a paragraph, or anentire paper) word for word, withoutcitation, as if it were your own.

    Introduce the source, enclose thequoted text in quotation marks, andinclude an in-text citation.

    The Mistake

    The Solution

  • Type 2:TheMinimalist

    The Mistake

    The Solution

    You change a few words or phrasesfrom a piece of source material, butthe original tone, structure, andcontent remain the same.

    Introduce the source and summarizethe content in question in your ownwords, followed by an in-textcitation.

  • Type 3: TheComboThe Mistake

    The Solution

    Usually the product of laziness (orof the assumption that yourinstructor won't notice), this occurswhen you properly cite some piecesof information, but not others.

    As a general rule, allinformation that is not commonknowledge should be cited.

  • Type 4: TheQuiltThe Mistake

    The Solution

    You combine information from severaldifferent sources under one blanket citation.This is essentially stealing information frommultiple people and giving the credit to onefalse party.

    Individually cite all contributing sources viaindividual parentheses or footnotes, or by acumulative citation at the end of the affectedtext.

  • Type 5: TheParrotThe Mistake

    The Solution

    You copy the structure and evolution ofthought from an existing source. Though youwrote the paper, you have essentially stolenthe thought process and argument of anotherauthor, rather than formulating your ownthrough the cumulative study of multiplesources.

    Compile your own research and form your own conclusions.In other words, bite the bullet and do the work, son.

  • Type 6: TheInsecure

    The Mistake

    The Solution

    I like to call this the Little Mermaid Complex;you give up your own voice in an attempt toplease. In direct terms, this occurs when youfully stock a paper with sourced material butinclude little to no original content.

    Remember that your professors want to knowyour thoughts and ideas (backed up, ofcourse, by authoritative evidence from others).

  • Type 7: TheLostatSeaThe Mistake

    The Solution

    You fill your Works Cited with books andarticles you haven't actually read or ones thatyou did but found inapplicable to meet theminimum number of sources required.

    Plain and simple, only include accuratecitations. This applies to URLs as well; if it'sout of date or no longer available online, yourgrade could suffer for it.

  • Type 8: TheSelfObsessed

    The Mistake

    The Solution

    Your own work is yours to use however you please, right?Not in the world of academia. Handing in the same papertwice, or even excerpts from work you did for another class,counts as self-plagiarism.

    Cite your previous work the wayyou would all other sources.

  • Thegoldenruleofavoidingplagiarism?Whenindoubt,citeyoursource.

    For more great informationabout writing academicpapers, check out our blogat