How to Avoid Plagiarism: Introduction

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Module Contents

The Basics

Guidelines

Quotation

Paraphrasing/Summarizing

Why Learn About Plagiarism?

Because you want to do your best work and you want it to be your work. If you are like most students, you want credit for what you have done, not for what someone else has done. Learning how to manage and properly cite resource materials in a researched paper will make the distinction between your work and that of your sources clear to the reader and will help you to avoid plagiarism.

Because professors care about it. Teachers are concerned about plagiarism not because they are mean-spirited or suspicious but because they are responsible for supporting honest, responsible scholarship. They want students both to do their own work and to give credit for the work of others that they use in their writing. And the consequences for failing to give credit are high: students who plagiarize may receive an F or a zero for an assignment, may fail the course in which they plagiarized, or may be suspended or permanently expelled from the university. So, for a university student, avoiding plagiarism is serious business.

Tip: Ironically, some honest and hardworking students plagiarize out of ignorance. They don’t know proper citation and referencing procedures. Whether or not a student intends plagiarism is not a defense, however, when plagiarism happens. Therefore, you cannot expect your teacher to accept the claim of not intending to commit plagiarism as an excuse for the act.