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What is it?
- It's not just taking words, it's taking ideas and using them as your own without giving credit
- It is usually not deliberate – it is generally a result of poor note taking or lack of organization
- If you give credit by way of a citation, then you’re usually ok.
- If you are unsure whether to give credit or not, cite the source just to be safe
What can happen if I do plagiarize?
- A lot will depend upon whether it's intentional or unintentional
- You may initially receive a warning
- You could also receive a failing mark on the paper or fail the class altogether
- It could be reported and added to your academic file
- In some extreme circumstances it can be grounds for expulsion
Why We Cite: Understanding Citation Styles
What's The Big Deal About Plagiarism?
Why give credit?
You need to give credit to sources for several reasons:
To let your readers know how your views, "agree with, disagree with, or modify the views of published experts in the field."
- By citing your sources, you are providing your reader with additional information--such as books, articles, and websites--on the topic you are writing about.
- "By listing the author of a quotation and providing a page number, you're telling the reader, 'If you don't believe that this person really wrote this, you can look it up for yourself.'"
- "It's the honest thing to do."
Source: Plagiarism (Microsoft Word document) - UWGB Writing Center handout
How can anyone tell anyhow?
- Professors can Google too...
- Professors can usually tell when a student is writing "out of voice"
- Incomplete or missing information on bibliographies is always a tell-tale sign
- Professors that require students to submit via Turnitin are presented with any unusual amount of text that overlaps with a published document; however, it is up to each Professor to make the final determination. This is another reason to make sure these types of passages are contained in quotes and properly cited.
Yikes! How can I avoid it?
- Use reputable sources and track where you are getting your information from
- Develop your own ideas
- Keep your research organized - use note cards
- Email articles to yourself and keep them in a class or assignment folder
- Create your bibliography as you go, as opposed to sorting it out after you have written your paper
- Use the personal profile tools in EBSCO or Zotero.