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How does one avoid plagiariam?How does one avoid plagiariam?

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kennishawalters | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 18, 2009 at 11:29 AM via web

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How does one avoid plagiariam?

How does one avoid plagiariam?

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stefaniecpeters | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 18, 2009 at 12:03 PM (Answer #2)

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When quoting directly from a source, make sure you follow your teacher's or style guide's rules for properly citing your sources.

If you are paraphrasing from a source, the best way to avoid plagiarism is to rewrite information in your own words when you take notes. This way, when you come to write your essay, you can paraphrase your sources without having to worry about accidentally repeating another writer's phrase. Again, make sure you cite the source properly. When in doubt about whether or not to cite a piece of information, put the citation in and then ask your teacher about it.

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dkgarran | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 18, 2009 at 12:44 PM (Answer #3)

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For starters, don't cut and paste from the internet because even if you change a few words, it is still plagiarism and you're still passing off someone else's ideas and work as your own. You may quote directly from another source so long as it's in quotation marks and has a footnote or endnote. There is really no chance that you're going to coincidentally write the same exact thing as something on the internet. As stated above, taking notes in your own words is a good idea to prevent this from happening.

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted September 18, 2009 at 12:51 PM (Answer #4)

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There are MANY sources on the web that can explain this to you.  Perhaps the best known is the On-Line Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University http://owl.english.purdue.edu/.  You can get advice about avoiding plariarism here as well as advice about almost any other topic involving writing.  The specific page on plagiarism is at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/.

Another source I would suggest is "The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing" http://nutsandbolts.washcoll.edu/.  It's also available as a small text.  After you read the section on plagiarism (if you wish), take a look at the other links.  There is a lot of information here that will make you a much better writer.

Finally, you can go to the source:  www.plagiarism.org.  They sent you to http://writecheck.turnitin.com/static/resources.html, a site which can check your paper for you if you really want to be sure.  It says you can get an account for free, but I think getting an account is all that is free ... but it may be worth it to/for you.  Your school may have a turnitin.com or SafeAssign account that you can use.

Good luck!

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted September 18, 2009 at 6:09 PM (Answer #5)

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We need to differentiate between plagiarism and copyright violation. Plagiarism is using ideas and writings of others without acknowledging. Copyright violation is using copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder. Copyright violation involves plagiarism also when the original source is not cited. Copyright violation is always a legal offence. Plagiarism is always an ethical offence, but it may or may not be a legal offence.

The best way of avoiding plagiarism is to acknowledge the the sources of material that you may have included in your writing. Paraphrasing work of others may help you avoid detection of plagiarism, but it is still plagiarism. Please remember, plagiarism applies to not just the words, it applies to ideas also. Only the ideas that are well known, and hence considered to be knowledge in public domain may be used without citing the original source. For example, when we say that the Earth is round and travels around the Sun, we don't need to always acknowledge the contribution of Galileo in establishing this truth.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 19, 2009 at 5:00 AM (Answer #6)

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The previous posts do a good job of addressing this topic.  I have always felt that it is better to "overcite" sources than not source them enough. I think that there is little wrong with pointing out on many an occasion the source of an idea.  It is challenging to do so, as it involves a great deal of work and analysis, but if one cites repeatedly as a practice, it seems to me plagiarism can be avoided because the tendency to inappropriately cite will be reduced.

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drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 19, 2009 at 10:17 AM (Answer #7)

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My advice to my students is always, if the information you are providing in your paper is not something that you already knew about yourself, then cite your source. In other words, when in doubt, give a shout--to the place/person where you got the information.

Much plagiarism is inadvertent. Students often came to me as high schoolers thinking that if they paraphrased information, then it was "in their own words" and therefore needed no citation.

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kc4u | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted September 21, 2009 at 3:54 AM (Answer #8)

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There is nothing wrong if you borrow and admit the same. If you don't feel inclined to admit your debt, you shall have to present the borrowed material in such a way--making linguistic and conceptual face-lift--that nobody suspects your bonafides. So variously exposed to the world-wide webs of information and knowledge, it is very difficult to avoid plagiarism. If you don't want to be booked on charges of plagiarism, try to be absurdly original, exceedingly intricate and round-about in your language and structure. If that seems even more difficult, just stop writing...

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted September 21, 2009 at 9:39 AM (Answer #9)

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If you don't want to be booked on charges of plagiarism, try to be absurdly original, exceedingly intricate and round-about in your language and structure. If that seems even more difficult, just stop writing...  - ko4u

Does this mean that all the original things worth writing have been written already?

For the sake of argument, let us assume that this is so. Then if you have nothing original to writ, why write at all?

But, of course, I don't believe that everything worth writing has been already written. It is a different matter that some people may not be able write anything worthwhile that is original.

I was wondering, if the Post #8 is original or just a "linguistic and conceptual face-lift".

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 22, 2009 at 5:49 AM (Answer #10)

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If the point you are making or the example you are using to support your point is NOT YOUR ORIGINAL IDEA or PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE, then you should cite your source.  By doing this, you will avoid plagiarism.  Use the MLA guidelines or the guidelines required by your teacher (easily found by searching for "MLA" in any search engine online) to help you create your works cited page and create your parenthetical notation within your paper.

"Citation Machine" is an easy way to help you with this. Follow this link to get there:  http://citationmachine.net/

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kimfuji | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted September 28, 2009 at 3:18 PM (Answer #11)

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I usally tell my students to shut their book after they've read then write down their responses. Plagarism is best avoided by reading well and then "not trying to be perfect" in your memory about every detail of the book or poem. Just paraphrase and when you feel it is necssary to provide examples, quote using quotation marks with citations to the work. For example, Kim said in her post, "I usually tell my students to shut their book..."(name of book, page number) As long as you write in your own words there is no problem. Of course, you also have to say to whom the idea belongs. For example, if you are talking about a famous critic's review of a book and then you paraphrase their remarks, you have to give credit to the critic by stating his or her name and the magazine or organisation where they work. The main idea underlying plagarism is that people who have said something in print get credit for what they have said.

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kennishawalters | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 30, 2009 at 6:04 AM (Answer #12)

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Thanks alot for your input guys! They helped.

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ekmattke | Elementary School Teacher | eNoter

Posted October 1, 2009 at 6:47 PM (Answer #13)

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To avoid plagarism, one needs to cite everything.  When a person paraphrases, quotes, or uses three words or more, he or she needs to cite.  This is how you avoid plagarism.  For example, Mary said, "I worked on a research project all day, but I finally got it done for school."  A person can paraphrase or directly quote her, but citation is very important.  I believe that these are crucial when it comes to avoiding plagarism.  Even if you choose to use three words, you have to cite, but less than that, there is no need to.  I hope this makes sense.  These are the rules when it comes to plagarism, but they make all the difference.  I know you can do it, and and I know you will do great.

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donjohn8 | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted October 2, 2009 at 12:56 AM (Answer #14)

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I usally tell my students to shut their book after they've read then write down their responses. Plagarism is best avoided by reading well and then "not trying to be perfect" in your memory about every detail of the book or poem. Just paraphrase and when you feel it is necssary to provide examples, quote using quotation marks with citations to the work. For example, Kim said in her post, "I usually tell my students to shut their book..."(name of book, page number) As long as you write in your own words there is no problem. Of course, you also have to say to whom the idea belongs. For example, if you are talking about a famous critic's review of a book and then you paraphrase their remarks, you have to give credit to the critic by stating his or her name and the magazine or organisation where they work. The main idea underlying plagarism is that people who have said something in print get credit for what they have said.

I'll concur with this as a general approach, but take it a step further. One cannot use only one source and expect to avoid either copyright infringement or plagiarism. It's only when the thinker begins cross-referencing, comparing the works on the same topic that a unique picture begins to emerge. As a rule of thumb, I suggest at least three sources be consulted before an effective synthesis of the topic with a unique perspective can be made.

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judsonsmith | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 3, 2009 at 4:03 PM (Answer #15)

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There are many different ways to avoid plagiarism.  If you are using someone's words, you need to cite the source in the body of your paper and then have a reference page at the end of your paper, giving credit to the orginal author.  If you are summarizing someone's work, you may put what you read into your own words.  However, you still need to give them credit.  You may not have to use quotation marks but you will need to list the source again in both the paper and on the reference page.  Common knowledge things need not be cited.  For example, I am sure it says in many books that "Abraham Lincoln was the President during the Civil War".  So there is no need for a citation there, since it is common knowledge.  However, if you go more in depth than that and had to get onformation from whatever you are reading, then you must cite this source.  One other thing, make sure you put your sources in alphabetical order on the reference page.  Many people forget to do that.  www.referencepoint.com is a great site that will download a template for you to write papers on, for a low price.  It is well worth it.

Hope this helps.

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